Epson celebrates brand’s 40th anniversary

April 13, 2015

The OEM’s Epson brand will celebrate 40 years in June.

Epson's first printer, the EP-101

Epson’s first printer, the EP-101

The OEM reported that the Epson brand used on “many of its products and services” will have been in use for 40 years on 12 June 2015. The OEM will mark the milestone by showing its “appreciation to the stakeholders who have supported our brand over the years”, with a “retrospective look” to be taken on the brand’s “ongoing commitment to creating products that surprise and delight”.

Epson was founded in 1942 under the name Daiwa Kogyo, and manufactured watches before moving into other areas by utilising its “core technologies” and “compact, energy-saving and high-precision” methodology. It entered the IT business in 1968 with the EP-101, which it said was the “world’s first compact, lightweight digital printer”, before adding more peripherals in the 1970s. After entering new markets across a “broad range of categories”, the OEM decided to “develop a unique, original brand”.

In fact, the Epson name comes from the EP-101, as ‘EP’ stands for electronic printer and ‘son’ denotes the company’s “desire to follow the original electronic printer with many worthwhile descendants”. In future, Epson states that it will “refine” its core technologies and perspectives, and will develop its operations in printing, visual communications, quality of life and manufacturing.

A special logo has been created for the anniversary, with four colours representing each of the four market areas, and the OEM added that the logo’s design “represents our commitment to growth in each of these four interrelated areas and to creating products that bring delight to our customers”.

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Is it real?

November 4, 2013




The photo was sent in by a UK reader. He recently bought this cartridge as a genuine HP OEM cartridge but is concerned that the chip might not be an OEM one.

Have you seen chips like this on empty cartridges? If so please email me so I can reassure the reader.

Email me at [email protected]

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OEMs launch alliance to promote and simplify mobile printing

September 25, 2013

tabletCanon, HP, Samsung and Xerox join forces to form the Mopria Alliance.

The newly formed Mopria Alliance, described as a global non-profit organisation, aims to address customer and industry need for “simple, standardised, brand-agnostic mobile printing” as well as “promote, simplify and increase accessibility” of wireless printing from smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices.

The Alliance will bring together the mobile, software and print industries with the aim of aligning to standards that make printing universally compatible from any mobile device to any printer anywhere; and will focus on breaking down barriers between brands by eliminating the need for users to download multiple print drivers, as well as creating a better, more accessible user experience for mobile printing.

It is the intention of the OEMs to introduce the Mopria brand and use it as a vehicle to educate consumers and businesses on the ease-of-use of mobile printing; and to influence the development and adoption of standards for mobile printing. Furthermore, Mopria will provide software developers with an open environment and tools to incorporate print into mobile applications.

Standardising mobile printing in turn will enable mobile app developers, along with other industry players, to focus resources on innovation and new features beyond simply maintaining basic print functions.

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Global printing market to grow 4.2 percent by 2016

September 5, 2013

PrintingThe new report from Reportstack believes increased demand for inkjet printers will spur on the growth.

The report, entitled Global Printer Market 2012-2016, believes that the CAGR (Compound Annual Growth Rate) of 4.2 percent it has predicted the market will grow to by 2016 is due to the “increasing demand” for inkjet printers, as well as the increase “in demand for colour prints”, though it adds that the slowdown of the global economy could again “pose a challenge to the growth of this market”.

The report, which covers the market in the Americas, EMEA and APAC regions, also states that it looks at the “market landscape and its growth prospects in the coming years”, as well as discussing the “key vendors” or OEMs, with Reportstack stating that the most important OEMs in the next three years include Brother, Canon, HP, Epson and Samsung.

Reportstack added that a number of key questions are asked and answered within the report, including: what size the market will be in 2016; what the growth rate will be; the key market trends, drives and challenges; the key vendors, their market opportunities and the threats facing them, and their strengths and weaknesses in comparison to one another.

The Recycler recently reported on IDC’s report on the global hardcopy market, which stated that it was beginning to show “encouraging signs of recovery”.

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HP CEO voted print industry’s favourite

August 19, 2013

meg whitmanMeg Whitman tops approval ratings list based on votes from OEM employees.

Industry Analysts, Inc. reports that approval ratings listed on ranked the CEOs of major print companies according to how their employees feel about their leader, with Meg Whitman named as the industry’s favourite CEO.

Whitman scored an approval rating of 80 percent – two percent higher than Sharp’s Kozo Takahashi in second place and above Norio Sasaki of Toshiba, who scored 73 percent. Also in the top five were Lexmark’s CEO Paul Rooke with an approval rating of 72 percent; and Fujio Mitarai, CEO of Canon, who scored 70 percent.

Shiro Kondo of Ricoh; Yangkyu (Y.K.) Kim of Samsung America; Masatoshi Matsuzaki of Konica Minolta and Xerox’s Ursula Burns all appeared in the list, receiving lower scores of between 62 percent and 29 percent respectively.

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MPS and MDS markets at “inflection point”

August 6, 2013

IDC believes that the markets are reaching high penetration but low maturity.marketinflection

A blog on ComputerWorldUK by IDC’s Research Director Holly Muscolino states that the “inflection point” for the two markets has come in developed markets due to penetration of such services being “relatively high”, with contracts reaching a second or third renewal point, but that the maturity of these services is “relatively low”, causing an inflection.

IDC’s Maturity Model: Print and Document Management has found that “a relatively small percentage” of MPS supplier-customer engagements include “value-added services” beyond basic MPS services, and that in turn “very few encompass a holistic enterprise-wide approach”, with production print or branch workers aspects that the programmes have not expanded to cover.

Muscolino added that IDC’s recent MarketScape: Worldwide Managed Print and Document Services 2013 Hardcopy Vendor Analysis showed in turn that from a “vendor perspective”, it is “getting more and more difficult” to distinguish between the “core” services at the heart of MPS or MDS programmes, with technology becoming “relatively homogenous” as well as “more intelligent and automated”, meaning vendors cannot distinguish their systems from others.

Another aspect that is causing the “inflection” is “enterprise self-management” as a result of the similarities between programmes offered, with “outstanding execution and delivery” now “crucial” for companies to succeed. Companies considering MPS should “look beyond” printers and technology and “ensure that the vendor comprehends the organisation’s specific business objectives”.

Muscolino notes that OEMs and providers “have the opportunity to increase differentiation” by creating services that induce customers to print more, which would in turn result in “greater benefits for those customers in terms of cost savings, employee productivity, and even top-line revenue growth”. Other tips she gives are that companies should “understand the scalability and scope of the offering”, and ask providers to “provide a road map” as well as look for “operational excellence”.

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Xerox sells US base for $40 million

August 5, 2013

Xerox Square in Rochester, New York, will be leased back to the OEM after the sale.

Xerox Square in Rochester, New York

Xerox Square in Rochester, New York

Democrat and Chronicle reported on the sale of the site, said to be “Rochester’s iconic office building”, to local company Buckingham Properties for $40 million (€30.1 million), with the deal including not only the 30-storey office tower but also an adjacent auditorium, an annex and an underground car park.

The property has been on the market since 2009, and as part of the deal, Xerox will remain in the building as tenant “for at least eight years”, according to Buckingham Properties’ CEO Larry Glazer, who added his hope that Xerox “remains there for a long, long time. Nothing is forever but we want them to stay in Rochester”.

At this time, 1,400 employees work for Xerox in the tower, and the OEM noted that its intention to sell was due to a wish to “focus on their core businesses and to invest less in real estate”. The tower is both the city’s tallest building and one of its most recognisable, and was built in 1965, and despite Xerox moving its headquarters to Connecticut in 1969, it has retained a “sizable workforce and manufacturing facilit[y] in the Rochester area” since.

Xerox spokesman Bill McKee stated of the sale: “Today, we completed the sale of Xerox Square to a newly created company, 100 S. Clinton LLC, affiliated with Buckingham Properties of Rochester. As part of the arrangement we have agreed to lease the entire Xerox Square facility for eight years with the option to renew. Xerox people should expect no changes to their work location as the result of the sale.”

Rochester’s Mayor Thomas Richards stated: “This sale […] will help us stabilize the Center City workforce as we focus on other high-profile projects, including the Midtown development project, the Sibley Building and the RTS transit centre.”

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HP tops EquiTrend survey

July 29, 2013

TrophyGeneric2013OEMs ranked in new survey based on US consumer perceptions.

Rochester Business Journal reports that a new survey, the 2013 Harris Poll EquiTrend study, has ranked more than 1,500 well-known companies across over 155 categories according to how they are regarded by over 38,500 US consumers; with HP leading the printer brand category.

The survey looked at consumer perceptions of lifestyle, product and service brands and how well they connect with them, including elements such as familiarity, quality, and purchase consideration; with categories including computers, household products and online organisations.

In the Printer Brand of the Year category, HP was ranked first followed by Canon, Kodak, Samsung and Xerox; which all made the top five, indicating that they ranked above the category average. Other printer brands in the category ranked below the average included Brother, Dell, Epson, Konica Minolta, Kyocera, Lexmark, Panasonic, Ricoh, Sharp and Toshiba.

HP also came second in the Computer Brand of the Year category, beaten only by Apple.

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“Patent war” coming over printer patent trolls

June 3, 2013

Patent  DefinedA Dutch legal news site speculates on the possibility of a “patent war” between OEMs and patent “trolls”.

The article, from and written by Johan Kosters, states that “in recent weeks, [there have been] more and more reports in the foreign press about possible patent infringement by suppliers of printing solutions”, specifically from patent “trolls”.

The patent “trolls”, the companies or individuals that buy patents and look for violations – and the financial rewards from them – in an “aim to make money” are what Kosters states are the potential danger to the industry, with “a lot of patents […] used to protect” and “prevent other companies [from reproducing or importing] the margin-rich toner or ink” that the OEMs have manufactured.

With the recent stories about HP, Ricoh and Xerox targeting the patent troll company MPHJ Technology over scan-to-email patent technology, Kosters relates that another troll, Penovia, has 221 US patents for printing, and that it has accused Ricoh, Xerox, Samsung, Brother and OKI of patent infringement, as well as targeting consumers.

The patents refer to “office machine monitoring device[s]”, which Kosters states are an “essential component” in MPS, giving information about “meter readings, toner consumption and interference”, and in the MPHJ case, the patent troll is also targeting the users with infringement as it “arises from the combination of a device” such as an MFP with “scan to email technology”, and the user’s network.

In the MPHJ case, Kosters notes that the OEMs are taking action “on behalf of their customers now”, with the main thrust of their argument that the technology existed before the patents the company states are infringed were approved. It is the hope of the OEMs that the patents will be declared invalid, with Kosters noting that “many purchasing organisations [hold] suppliers accountable if their devices [are] committing patent infringement”, which could be a potential headache for many other companies as well as the OEMs.

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British consumer rights programme discusses shrinking cartridges

May 2, 2013

Screen shot 2013-05-02 at 09.08.17BBC’s Watchdog show interviewed industry representatives about the rising costs of inkjet cartridges.

The programme, regularly shown on the BBC 1 channel, champions consumer rights and helps expose bad business, and in its episode screened on 1 May, the show featured a piece on the rising prices of inkjet cartridges in comparison to their shrinking size.

The issue, which has previously been covered by British newspapers including the Guardian and the Daily Mail, was taken up by Watchdog through guest presenter Rick Wakeman, former keyboardist for progressive rock band Yes.

Wakeman converses with Cartridge World Aylesbury’s Sarah Dyckhoff and UKCRA and Promax’s Chris Brooks in the piece, which highlights HP’s rising inkjet prices and compares the price of ink to other expensive liquids.

The show presented the statement that ink is the “most expensive liquid”, with HP’s inkjet cartridges containing only five millilitres of ink at a cost of £12 ($18.67/€14.17), equating to a litre costing £2,400 ($3,735/€2,835).Another comparison made is that 4,000 litres of crude oil would cost this much, or 68 bottles of premium whisky.

Sarah Dyckhoff

Sarah Dyckhoff

Dyckhoff shows the camera the differing sizes of the sponges within the HP inkjet cartridges and their shrinking over the past few years, with the programme noting that whilst the HP inkjet cartridges are cheaper to buy, they hold “less than a third of the ink” of previous cartridges. Industry website previously showcased the sponge issue last year.

Wakeman also discusses Canon and Epson’s shrinking cartridge sizes, noting that Canon’s cartridges have shrunk from 26 to 15 millilitres, whilst Epson’s have almost halved from 13 to seven militaries. Despite Epson halving the price of their inkjet cartridges, the ink would still work out at £1,140 ($1,774/€1,346) a litre.

The show moved on to hypothesise how much money it would cost for Wakeman to set up his own cartridge manufacturing business, with the presenter taking a call from Promax’s Brooks on how much each part of the cartridge would cost. The final cost of making a cartridge was worked out to be 29 pence (45 US cents/34 Euro cents).

Chris Brooks

Chris Brooks

The culmination of the section on cartridges focused on Epson and HP’s responses to the programme’s findings, with Epson stating that technological advances mean higher prices are necessary, and that it can only guarantee original cartridges will work. HP meanwhile stated that the increased prices help progress technology, and recommended consumers buy multipacks for cheaper costs.

The programme can be viewed here (UK users only), with the piece on cartridges beginning at the 43:50 mark.

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