Sharp May Supply A3 Digital Copiers to Hewlett-Packard

Reuters reports that Hewlett-Packard may have signed on Sharp Corporation of Japan as an original equipment manufacturer to manufacture digital copiers for HP, which would be sold under the HP brand name. Sharp is also considering working with HP in developing toner and supplies.

Sharp could begin supplying digital copiers to HP as soon as the second half of Sharp’s current fiscal year that ends in March 2014. A formal deal has not been signed yet.

Sharp had previously considered establishing a joint copier company with Samsung Electronics, but talks apparently ended when other Japanese companies feared technology leaks to South Korean-based Samsung.

The HP deal would have considerable benefits for both companies – Sharp would expand production of its A3 copiers (print on up to 11″x17″ media), while HP would enhance its A4-oriented (print on up to A4/8.5″x14″ media) digital-copier lineup with A3 digital copiers.

Last month, Sharp reported its first quarterly profit in two years.

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