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 user 2007-05-07 at 11:01:00 am Views: 57
  • #18088

    HP Overhauls Printer Cartridge System
    said on Tuesday it will be gradually changing the way the company
    delivers its inkjet cartridges by instituting three new color-coded
    categories and a lowered, two-tiered pricing scheme for its inkjet
    printer cartridges.Hewlett-Packard said on Tuesday it will be gradually
    changing the way the company delivers its inkjet cartridges by
    instituting three new color-coded categories and a lowered, two-tiered
    pricing scheme for its inkjet printer cartridges.Gone will be the days
    of the standard printing system, where consumers bought a standard
    cartridge size using the conventional HP two-digit numbering
    system.Throughout this year, HP will introduce new consumer printers
    that will be rolled out alongside the revamped cartridge system, which
    will introduce standard, value, and specialty cartridges labeled with
    blue, green, and red color coding, respectively. The program will be
    introduced in various retail stores as well as online, all in the hopes
    of offering its customers a simplified shopping experience, more
    choice, and greater value, the company said.Analysts confirmed that the
    new cartridges will actually contain a greater volume of ink. However,
    the new “XL” cartridges aren’t new; the company’s “78″ cartridge has
    been released in a small and large size since 1999, according to Andy
    Lippman, an inks analyst for printer research firm Lyra Research.

    HP’s current printer cartridges will still be supported, HP said.
    to Pradeep Jotwani, senior vice president of HP’s Supplies, Imaging,
    and Printing Group, the changes are nothing less than a total revamp of
    the way HP offers its supplies, as well as a recognition that not
    everyone has the same printing needs.It may also mean that the company
    is starting to feel the sting from various third-party inkjet cartridge
    companies that continue to sell HP-compatible ink cartridges for
    substantially less money.

    Did HP’s ink cartridge system need a rework? We’d like to know.
    trying to do three things here,” Jotwani said. “We want to give
    consumers more choice, more value, and we’re trying to simplify the
    shopping experience, particularly in a world that is a hybrid online
    and offline world.”"Before, the way we were doing it, we offered one
    black and one color cartridge to consumers,” Jotwani added, “with no
    choice within the printing system. We were trying to meet both subsets
    with one cartridge.”With its new, streamlined offerings, Jotwani says
    that HP is now recognizing that there are in fact two large clusters of
    cartridge buyers: “one set of people who want access to printing, but
    who don’t print that much – once or twice a week,” Jotwani said.

    The new lineup
    these more price-conscious consumers, HP is offering its standard
    cartridges (blue packaging), which the company says have a lower
    purchase price of $14.99.Then there’s another cluster that prints a
    lot: 7,000 plus pages a month,” Jotwani said. “They also want reliable,
    high-quality printing, but they’re focused on cost per page, not per
    cartridge.”For that subset, HP will offer higher-yield, value
    cartridges (green packaging) that will be priced at around $30 a box,
    the company says. Continued…The value line will include new
    high-yield “XL” cartridges that HP says will provide customers with
    approximately 30 to 45 percent savings on a cost-per-page basis, print
    up to three times more pages, and require fewer cartridge replacements
    compared to standard cartridges.The rule of thumb in the printer
    industry is that 20 percent of users consume about 70 percent of the
    market’s ink, Lippman said. “The point is that the high-volume users
    have a need,” he said. “With these value – XL – cartridges, HP is
    recognizing that this is what the market will look like going
    forward.”"For those that don’t need to print as many pages, it’s like
    buying a soda for a dollar in the grocery store,” Lippman added. “That
    may be all the soda you need. But if you want to buy in bulk, there’s
    always that option, too.”HP first began offering a larger 58.5-ml ink
    cartridge in 1999, Lyra’s Lippman said, complementing the
    industry-standard 27-ml cartridge.HP “88″ cartridge, introduced in fall
    2005, comes in both a 20.5-ml small size and a 58.5-ml “value”
    cartridge, Lippman said. According to Lyra’s tests, the small 20.5 ml
    “88″ cartridge yields about 900 monochrome pages, at an average price
    of $19.99 per cartridge. The HP 88XL black “value” cartridge yields
    about 2,500 monochrome pages for $34.99, Lippman said. However, the
    volume of ink the HP’s rebranded XL cartridge will hold has not been
    formally disclosed, he added.A third cartridge type, or specialty, will
    come packaged in red boxes and be aimed primarily at users who want to
    print the highest-quality photos possible. Those cartridges will be
    priced at about $25, and will print approximately 150 photos
    each.Normally, HP printers ship with either a black, tricolor, or
    photo-optimized cartridge, Lyra’s Lippman said. The new packaging will
    simply a cosmetic change to attract the eye, he said.In 2007, the
    printer industry could be shaped by a startup, Memjet. Is 360 pages per
    minute possible? The company says yes.Alongside these changes, HP is
    also initiating a revamped two-digit cartridge identification system,
    which will be used throughout the HP inkjet cartridge line, as well as
    updated point-of-sale materials such as new ink selection guides.While
    the company currently uses a two-digit cartridge-naming scheme for most
    of its inkjet cartridges, the new system will expand that method,
    absorbing some of the popular cartridge numbers into the blue, green,
    and red scheme, HP said.HP also said that it would be adding other
    retail promotional materials to educate consumers and educate them on
    the new inks.A spokeswoman from rival Lexmark, which reported higher
    profits Tuesday morning, declined to comment. Representatives from
    Epson couldn’t be reached at press time.Kodak, however, saw the
    announcement as an endorsement of its own strategy. “It appears that HP
    wants customers to choose low cartridge price OR low cost per print,”
    the company said in a statement.”Volume discounts aren’t new,” Kodak
    added. “Kodak believes consumers will be more delighted with its
    approach because they will get both a low cost-per-page AND an
    inexpensive cartridge – $9.99 for premium black ink and $14.99 for
    premium, five-ink color cartridges. This will generate real Kodak
    lab-quality prints for as low as 15 cents apiece. Unlike HP customers,
    Kodak printer owners won’t have to search for special cartridges or pay
    in advance to get a great value.