Back in February 2015, Funai Electric announced that it would be licensing and selling Kodak-brand consumer and SOHO color-inkjet printers and All-in-Ones. On June 12th, 2015, it followed up with the announcement that it is launching its first Kodak‐branded product, the Kodak VERITÉ 55 Wireless All‐In‐One Inkjet printer, which will be available on retail shelves this week in the United States.
Funai says it developed the new line of All‐in‐One Verite color inkjet printers to address “lingering consumer dissatisfaction with the high cost of ink and cartridges that run out of ink too fast” – a strategy Kodak had previously used to market its inkjet printers and All-in-Ones for home users before exiting the consumer inkjet-printer market. Funai, which is headquartered in Osaka, Japan, also purchased Lexmark’s consumer inkjet-printer division in 2013 for $100 million.
Similar to what Kodak did, Funai is promising users savings of up to 50 percent on their printing costs. Included in the box with the VERITÉ 55 are two replacement ink cartridges, a high-yield 5 XL black and a high-yield 5 XL tri-color cartridge. The XL black cartridge is said to yield 400 pages, while the tri-color ink cartridge is said to yield 360 pages, and each are priced at $35. This translates into a black cost per page of 8.7 cents, and a color cost per page of 18.5 cents. Extra-high-yield XXL black and color cartridges are also available, with the 5 XXL black cartridge yielding up to 600 pages and the 5 XXL tri-color cartridge yielding up to 5oo pages. The standard-yield black cartridge ($9.97) yields up to 200 pages, while the standard-yield tri-color cartridge ($17.97) yields up to 180 pages.
Funai rates the Kodak VERITÉ 55 Wireless Printer at 10 (black)/4.2 (color) ppm. It provides print, scan, and copy, with manual two‐sided printing (no automatic document feeder). Mobile print and scan via smartphones and tablets is available via the free Kodak VERITÉ Printer App that’s available for Apple and Android mobile devices. The printer also supports Near Field Communication (NFC) for tap-and-print-and-scan wireless functionality for Android smart phones and tablets. Also provides is wireless direct and local Wi‐Fi connectivity to enable wireless printing from mobile devices through the Kodak VERITÉ Printer App, Apple AirPrint, and Google Cloud Print. For complete specifications, visit Funai here.
The KODAK VERITÉ 55 Wireless Printer is available at WalMart for $79.47.
Funai Electric is certainly going out on a limb marketing consumer inkjet printers in the United States. Both Kodak and Lexmark sold-off their consumer inkjet-printer divisions for a reason. And, while Kodak was marketing its consumer inkjet printers, there was a great deal of user dissatisfaction with them (Wirth Consulting’s testing revealed several major shortcomings for one such Kodak All-in-One, and we did not recommend it). Hopefully, Funai has addressed these shortcomings. Similarly, despite promising substantial ink savings, cost per page using the 5 XL cartridges is not particularly competitive (although customers will definitely appreciate Funai bundling the 5 XL cartridges with the unit). Overall, however, with the many far more advanced business inkjets now marketed by Hewlett-Packard, Epson, and Brother, Funai will likely have a tough battle ahead of it in the United States.
- February 2015: After Purchasing Lexmark’s Inkjet Business, Funai Electric to Also Sell Kodak-Brand Small Office and Consumer Printers Worldwide
- February 2014: Company that Purchased Lexmark’s Inkjet Business to Open Facility in Lexington
- April 2013: Funai Electric Acquiring Lexmark’s Inkjet Business for $100 Million