Top News for Week of 2/17/2014 – Worldwide Printer/MFP Market Continues Recovery; First Mopria-Certified MFP; More

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Photo credit: tropicaLiving – Jessy Eykendorp / Foter / CC BY-SA

New Products

  • The big news this week was Hewlett-Packard’s introduction of the first imaging device that’s Mopria-certified for mobile printing. What’s key is that the new Color LaserJet Pro MFP M476 will make printing from Android devices as easy as tapping on a button. Making Android mobile printing as easy as possible makes sense, as the Android operating system continues to lead in smartphone market share. For instance, International Data Corporation’s latest research shows that 70.3 percent of smartphones currently run on the Android OS. Making it easy to print – whatever your operating system – is what it’s all about, with these new standards designed to make it easier for both mobile-device and printer vendors to provide fast and easy access to mobile printing.

IDC smartphone market share

  • In other Mopria news, Konica Minolta officially announced that it’s joined the Mopria mobile-printing alliance as an executive member. That brings the total number of printer/MFP vendors who’ve joined the alliance to nine (Canon, Hewlett-Packard, Samsung, Xerox, Epson, Brother International, Konica Minolta, Lexmark International, and Ricoh). 
  • Konica Minolta also updated its A4 monochrome MFP line with two new bizhub models, both of which offer optional wireless connectivity, as well as mobile printing via Konica Minolta’s free PageScope Mobile app. Both also feature high-yield toner cartridges – the bizhub 4020’s toner cartridge yields up to 20,000 pages, while the bizhub 3320’s toner cartridge yields up to 10,000 pages. What’s interesting is that Konica Minolta is calling them “All-in-Ones” – something desktop printer vendors typically call their print/copy/scan/fax devices – but what’s in a name? 
  • Contex is on a roll and announces the roll-out of its fourth-generation IQ Quattro Wide-Format Scanner that features cloud-connectivity.

Trends

  • The worldwide hardcopy printer/MFP/copier market continues to improve, reports IDC. In the fourth quarter of 2013, vendors shipped 31.6 million units. Compare this to the 36.5 million units vendors shipped in the fourth quarter of 2012, and note that the 36.5 million units shipped in fourth-quarter 2012 represented the highest quarterly shipments since the fourth quarter of 2007. As for the 2013 stats, what’s particularly striking is that not only did market-leader HP enjoy a 5.4 percent gain in shipments versus fourth-quarter 2012, but Brother International saw a 12.0 percent gain versus fourth-quarter 2012 shipments.
  • There was also good news from U.K. market-research firm CONTEXT, which reports that Western Europe laser MFP sales showed an 8-percent increase in the last quarter.

Legal Briefs

  • “Patent troll” MPHJ Technology calls Vermont lawsuit a sham and seeks sanctions. This is the same patent-firm that wants to charge companies $1,000 per end-user for using their companies’ MFPs’ document scanning, and typically goes after smaller companies with limited financial and litigation resources.

New Solutions

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