This Week in Imaging: Funai Poised to Take on Inkjet Market?; Mobile Printing a Game Changer?; Canon Makes a Big Move; More

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Image credit: Kathleen Wirth

As Canon’s camera business continues to lag (but office MFP and production sales continue to be healthy), the company is seeking other growth avenues. This week it’s looking to acquire Axis Surveillance, maker of network video-surveillance systems, for $2.83 billion. This would be the largest purchase Canon’s ever made, and seems to sadly reflect the current times – most consumers are too strapped to buy digital cameras, but there’s still plenty of money and demand in government and business for surveillance equipment. Canon already has a line of network surveillance cameras and in-house developed RM monitoring and recording solutions (supports 9, 25, 64 cameras), but it likely wants to enhance these offerings.

Japanese firm Funai Electric, the folks that purchased Lexmark’s inkjet business and previously manufactured and supplied Lexmark’s discontinued line of inkjet printers – made an interesting decision to license the Kodak-brand name for printers that it will sell worldwide.

Meanwhile, Epson will try to convince business users in the United States to use Epson inkjet (and scanners, large-format printers, etc.) with a major new ad campaign.

This week, Samsung – which is aiming to be a Tier 1 A3 vendor by 2017 – made a number of key announcements. First, it announced its next-generation MX7, which will be available in May, and launched two now-available desktop A4 laser printers. As is typical with Samsung, the printers support a slew of mobile-printing solutions for iOS and Android – from Google Cloud Print to Apple AirPrint, NFC tap-and-print, and a mobile cloud-printing solution from PrinterOn, a company that it recently acquired. And, covering all the bases it appears, it also reported that its XOA-enabled MFPs are now compatible with FollowMe’s FollowMe Embedded for secure printing, print-job management, user enrollment, and cost-code assignment.

Research-firm Research and Markets recently predicted significant growth in the mobile-printing market. Which leads us to question: 1) how many mobile-printing “clicks” currently exist? 2) given the nature of the beast (mobile operating systems), can anybody effectively track them to begin with? 3) will the growth of what’s quite possibly a small amount of mobile printing “clicks” cannibalize them from traditional network printers? 4) would that scenario be considered growth? and 5) is there even that great of a demand for mobile printing to begin with?

We also have to question whether all the hype about mobile printing is actually due to the fact that it’s cumbersome to access and print anything from mobile operating systems – in particular, Apple’s iOS. Any company worth its salt has its networks buttoned down, and since BYOD opens more security holes than it may be worth, does it fit into the security schema? Is running IT ragged trying to secure a variety of inherently unsecure mobile devices with disparate versions of mobile-operating systems cost-effective when one considers that most serious companies already provide manageable and secure mobile devices that are commonly known as laptop computers that can easily run full-blown enterprise software solutions?

The bottom line is that for companies who value network security, BYOD will only be provided as a perk for certain privileged personnel. Plus, other companies that are too cheap to provide mobile devices for their employees and demand BYOD are only cutting off their noses to spite their faces, because in the short-term, they don’t care about network security or the ability to track printing from notoriously insecure and unmanageable mobile devices, especially smartphones.

Agree or disagree? Let us know your thoughts and we’ll be happy to debate.

Feature Stories

  • After Purchasing Lexmark’s Inkjet Business, Funai Electric to Also Sell Kodak-Brand Small Office and Consumer Printers Worldwide – Read more here.

Product News

  • Samsung Announces Next-Generation Quadcore CPU-Powered A3 MultiXpress 7 MFP – Read more here.
  • New Samsung Desktop Printers with iOS & Android Mobile Printing, Usage Tracking, Secure Printing, More  – Read more here.
  • FollowMe Embedded with Secure Mobile Printing Now Available for Samsung MFPs  – Read more here.
  • New Canon imageFORMULA DR-C225W Features Wireless Connectivity, Scan to Cloud  – Read more here.
  • New HP Inkjet Nozzle Architecture Said to Double Production-Printers’ Print Resolution  – Read more here.
  • EFI Self-Serve Print-for-Pay Print Products Now Available For Canon MFPs  – Read more here.
  • ABBYY’s Updated PDF Transformer+ Provides Faster Printing, Start-Up, and More  – Read more here.

Acquisitions

  • Canon Bidding $2.83 Billion for Swedish Maker of Network Video Surveillance  – Read more here.

Financial News

  • Nuance Reports Loss for First Quarter, but Revenue Exceeds Expectations  – Read more here.

Other News

  • Epson Launches Ambitious Ad Campaign for Business Products Such as Printers and All-in-Ones  – Read more here
  • New Name Change for Canon Solutions’ Business Services, Plus New Senior Appointment  – Read more here.
  • Global Mobile-Printing Market to Grow 32.5 Percent Between 2014-2019  – Read more here.

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