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 user 2007-03-13 at 10:53:00 am Views: 140
  • #17354

    FINALLY! Printer manufacturer starts ink price war
    Kodak is getting into the consumer printer market – in a big way.What is the #1 complaint people have about inkjet printers?
    1. Is it the prrice of the printer?
    2. Is it the quality of the prints?
    3. Is it the longevity of the prints?
    4; Is it the price of ink?
    and to a lesser extent, the price of photo paper.
    Kodak, who is seeing the squeeze in their film and silver halide printing business, has decided to do something about it.Given the domination of the inkject printing market by heavyweights such as Canon and Epson, followed by HP, Lexmark, Brother et al, why would people buy the new Kodak printers? I mean, everyone claims long life for thier prints, the printers are all reasonably priced (unless you want to print bigger than 8.5″x11″) – so how will they break into the market and get market share? Simple.By giving people what they want – at a (more) reasonable price!

    Let’s take a look at some prices.
    Canon 4×6 PhotoPaper Plus, 120 sheet pack $11 at Newegg (MSRP $14)
    Canon CLI 8 cartridges: $11.99 each, and you need six, for a full new set.
    Now based on my experiences, you can print about 150 4×6′s on a canon printer before you run out of PC,PY and PM, and get to half capacity of C&M, and a quarter of B… so 150 4×6′s use 3+2x.5+.25 cartridges – that is 4.25 cartridges @ $12 each – or about $51 for ink. Scaled to 120 pages, that’s $40.80 for the ink needed to print 120 4×6′s.. now add $11 for paper, giving us a cost of $51.80 for 120 4×6′s – that’s 0.432 per print.From friends who run Epson printers, I gather their prints cost 1.5x-2x as much once all is said and done, and HP/Lexmark/Brother supposedly end up costing up to $1 per 4×6 print if you are not careful.

    Costco prints for around $0.10 per 4×6.
    Now Kodak is bringing out a line of Easyshare photo printers priced between $149 and $150, with supplies packaged in a way consumers will easily understand – including the paper and the ink in a handy package, and showing the cost per print right on the package!The Easyshare 5100 starts at $150, and it is a multi-function unit that can print, scan and copy – and is PictBridge compatible.The Easyshare 5300 at $250 adds a 3″ color display and memory slots, and allows for viewing and cropping on the printerThe Easyshare 5600 at $300 has a 2.4″ display, fax support, automated document feeder for the scanner, and a duplexer for double sided printing.The 180 print “standard” paper+ink package will cost $17.99MSRP, so even if you pay full MSRP, your per print cost will be $0.10The higher quality paper based package will have 135 sheets of the thicker paper for $19.99, or $0.15 per print.I am certain Epson, Canon et al are NOT going to be happy about this.I am equally certain that other manufacturers paper and ink prices will tumble – because if they don’t, they will lose market share in a BIG way.So much for the suspected price collusion between printer manufacturers. All it takes is a new entrant to the market, or one member of a hypothetical cartel to break ranks – and the market will decide. This is how the market is supposed to work.

    Now don’t take this to mean that the Kodak prints will be sub-standard.
    Kodak probably has more experience in making photographic prints than the rest of the printer manufacturers put togeather; and their new printers will use MEMS technology print heads and pigmented inks.I can’t wait to try them.Speaking as a photographer, you can bet I will be checking out these printers, and the quality of the prints.Let the ink+paper price wars begin… :-)