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 user 2004-02-25 at 9:37:00 am Views: 120
  • #6212
    Headline: Dell raises printer bar
    Dell’s entry into the printer market in March 2003 did little to unduly alarm Hewlett-Packard (HP), despite the obvious annoyance of a long-standing rival seeking to nibble away at its profit centre.

    The company’s entry products were not especially cheaper than its rivals and its initial technology partnership with Lexmark seemed problematic and a barrier to aggressive pricing.

    However, slowly but surely Dell is giving HP much cause for thought, especially with last month’s announcement of new technology partners for the Dell drive.

    The broadening of technology partners, with the addition of Kodak, Fuji Xerox and Samsung, gives Dell a bigger pool from which to develop intellectual property.

    Dell takes customer feedback and partners up with its printer technology partners to develop the products it needs. The technological backing of Lexmark, Samsung, Kodak and Fuji Xerox is building into a formidable one and HP will be taking increased notice.

    Nevertheless, HP is bullish in the segment and believes the long-term issue that will see it protect its market status is superior product results and optimum functionality.

    Either way you slice it, this duel looks like building into a real fight with Dell fashioning a strategy that could give it a position of some substance in the market.

    Eastman Kodak, Fuji Xerox and Samsung have partnered up with Dell to add further teeth to its printing and imaging business.

    The companies join Lexmark as Dell’s technology partners in its battle to loosen rival Hewlett-Packard’s traditional grip on the market. Dell imaging and printing VP Tim Peters said the new partnerships would “fuel the continued expansion of our printing and imaging business”.

    Dell will acquire the Fuji Xerox products through Xerox International Partners (XIP), a joint venture between Fuji Xerox and Xerox Corporation.

    XIP CEO Sunil Gupta said the agreement would “change the competitive landscape” in the market.

    Dell entered the printer market in March last year and expanded the initiative to Europe in September 2003.