This Week in Imaging: Thoughts on After-Supplies: Katun, Toshiba, Canon, Sharp, Clover; A Look at Giant Samsung

winter tree

Photo credit: Kathy Wirth

What’s going on here? Toshiba and Canon are in the midst of pursuing litigation against Katun, a long-time third-party printer/copier/MFP parts and supplies vendor that’s popular with small dealers and MPS providers. Canon continues to hunt down and prosecute unauthorized third-party supply vendors around the world with an iron fist. Meanwhile, Sharp Imaging and Information of America has expanded its partnership with a third-party supplies remanufacturer?

Every printer vendor manufactures and/or exclusively supplies its own parts and supplies, and this practice is a critical part of the overall revenue scheme. While the Clover partnership will surely benefit Sharp dealers via lower pricing, it remains to be seen whether the savings will be passed on to end users. That said, Sharp Japan most surely must be unhappy with this relationship. Moreover, our Sharp Cost per Page/Total Cost of Ownership analysis over the years has consistently shown that Sharp printers and copier/MFPs already have among the lowest operating costs in the industry.

Samsung continually amazes us with its ability to manufacture and sell just about any technology-related product. This week alone Samsung unveiled: a new line of high-speed 128 GB micro SD Pro+ memory cards even though their top-of-the-line Galaxy S smartphones no longer have memory card slots; it’s setting up a new team to develop automotive components for autonomous cars; it filed a patent for a holographic 3D printer; and introduced two new A4 desktop color models.

Most people worldwide are familiar with Samsung’s consumer electronics products (including its PCs, printers, and MFPs) and its range of high-end appliances. However, when we visited Seoul, we saw Samsung air-conditioning units installed in virtually every retail outlet, Samsung cars, and rows of giant apartment buildings bearing the Samsung logo. However, does anybody truly know about the vast scope of its overall endeavors? We didn’t. From Wikipedia:


“Samsung was founded by Lee Byung-chul in 1938 as a trading company. Over the next three decades, the group diversified into areas including food processing, textiles, insurance, securities, and retail. Samsung entered the electronics industry in the late 1960s and the construction and shipbuilding industries in the mid-1970s; these areas would drive its subsequent growth. Following Lee’s death in 1987, Samsung was separated into four business groups – Samsung Group, Shinsegae Group, CJ Group, and Hansol Group. Since the 1990s, Samsung has increasingly globalized its activities and electronics; particularly mobile phones and semiconductors, have become its most important source of income.

Notable Samsung industrial subsidiaries include Samsung Electronics (the world’s largest information technology company measured by 2012 revenues, and fourth in market value), Samsung Heavy Industries (the world’s second-largest shipbuilder measured by 2010 revenues), and Samsung Engineering and Samsung C&T (respectively the world’s 13th and 36th-largest construction companies). Other notable subsidiaries include Samsung Life Insurance (the world’s 14th-largest life insurance company), Samsung Everland (operator of Everland Resort, the oldest theme park in South Korea), and Cheil Worldwide (the world’s 15th-largest advertising agency measured by 2012 revenues).


Whew! Now Samsung has filed a patent for a  holographic 3D printer and more likely than not it’ll come to fruition. This leads us to wonder: we’ve all seen vast enterprises such as Panasonic, Toshiba, and Sony grow too diversified and too large and unwieldy, and eventually sell off various technology divisions. Do you think that Samsung will ever reach that saturation point?

Office-Imaging News

Samsung RemoteCall App Lets You Connect to Service Personnel for Real-Time Copier/MFP Troubleshooting – Read more here.

Sharp Expands Partnership with Clover, Enables Dealers to Combine Sharp and Clover Supplies on Same Invoice – Read more here.

Sharp Adds Document-Work Specialist Fabsoft to its Sharp Partner Program – Read more here.

New Samsung Desktop Color Printer and Copier/MFP with NFC, Cloud Printing, Scan-to-eMail – Read more here.

Print Audit Embedded, V 1.0, for HP MFPs and Printers Now Available – Read more here.

3D-Printing News

Samsung Applies for U.S. Patent for Holographic 3D Printer – Read more here.

Consumer-Imaging News

A Smartphone ‘Case’ with Built-in Printer for your Smartphone – Prynt Case is Now Available – Read more here.

Other News

Xerox Sells Large Portion of Wilsonville Campus; Employees Will be Mostly Unaffected – Read more here.

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December 2015

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