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 user 2007-05-08 at 12:28:00 pm Views: 61
  • #17935

    Epson smears third party ink as sales suffer
    2007″Tests show Calidad inks not suitable for printing photographs”
    screamed the headline from an Epson press release. With third party ink
    suppliers estimated to be grabbing as much as 30% of after market ink
    cartridge sales, printer manufacturers like Epson are waging a PR war
    against cut price competitors. Some may argue, however, that it is also
    a war against consumers’ hip pockets.The fact is, as most consumers of
    inkjet printers probably know, printing manufacturers like Epson,
    Lexmark, HP, Canon and others have long ceased making quality inkjet
    printers. Most inkjets now sold are more or less disposable products
    retailing at ridiculously low prices. Similar things are happening in
    the emerging color laser printer space.
    While PCs are often
    discarded when they can’t run the newest software, printers are often
    ditched for new models when it becomes hard to find an ink refill at a
    reasonable price.The market some time ago reached the ludicrous
    situation where printing manufacturers are in fact simply ink
    suppliers, which is where they make their profits.The main problem for
    the printing manufacturers, however, is that there is a healthy and
    growing market for third party ink suppliers which usually sell
    replacement ink cartridges significantly below the prices of OEM
    cartridges. This not only has the effect of eating into the after
    market ink sales of printing manufacturers; it also lengthens the
    printer replacement cycle as consumers will tend to keep printers
    longer if they can source reasonably priced ink refills.Faced with a
    serious challenge to their business models by third party after market
    ink sales, OEM suppliers are becoming ever more aggressive in their
    anti third party rhetoric.In what appears to be a thinly veiled attempt
    to sling mud at third party ink suppliers, Epson warned against the use
    of third party inks in its printers with the release of “independent
    test results” which purport to show that one of Australia and New
    Zealand’s best known third-party ink brands, Calidad, has one of the
    poorest results for print life ever measured.

    The conclusion of
    tests, according to Henry Wilhelm, President of Wilhelm Imaging
    Research, which conducted tests for Epson is that displayed prints made
    with genuine Epson DURABrite pigment inks on Epson paper will last more
    than 40 times longer than prints made with the Calidad inks on Calidad
    paper.”The Calidad ink cartridges appear to contain low-stability
    dye-based substitutes for Epson high-stability DURABrite pigment inks. 
    The Calidad inks have poor resistance to atmospheric ozone that may be
    present in homes and offices, and the Calidad inks also give up
    waterfastness when printed on plain paper,” Mr Wilhelm said.”When Epson
    users see these results they should be in no doubt that using third
    party inks in their Epson printers will lead to rapid fading and loss
    of their precious photographs,” Epson’s Marketing Communications
    Director, Mike Pleasants said.”I am sure that no parents would want to
    give or receive as a gift a framed photograph of treasured children,
    friends or relatives, or that special occasion, that can suffer
    significant fading in less than a year,” Pleasants said.Despite the
    claims from Epson, however, the third party market has hit back with
    its own report which refutes any suggestions that third party ink
    products are inferior to the more expensive OEM products.

    A new
    survey by Lyra Research and published in Recharger Magazine revealed
    that 48% of respondents who had used non-OEM supplies said that they
    have never had a problem with a non-printer-brand cartridge. Only 6%
    have had many problems, defined as more than 10 percent of the time,
    and 44% have had “just a few problems,” defined as less than 10% of the
    time. Overall, 93% of color laser printer users and 92% of color inkjet
    users said they either have had no problems with aftermarket cartridges
    or have had “just a few” problems, according to the survey.