This Week in Imaging: Who’s Tops in the Business-Inkjet Market? A Look at the Players

Photo credit: Kathy Wirth

This week we saw an interesting assertion from a well-known market-research firm asserting that inkjet will eventually displace laser printing in the office.

While we’ve been touting the advantages of inkjet (much less complicated service, better reliability, lower power consumption, and easier replacement of supplies) for too many years to count, we tend to agree with this.

However, we’re betting that this probably won’t happen until the current generation of decision makers – primarily Baby Boomers – retire, as it will take some for these decision makers to give up outdated associations of inkjet with older, consumer-focused inkjets that have long since been replaced by business inkjets that have caught up with laser in terms of print speed, print quality, and integration with business solutions and software.

That said, who will lead – and is leading – the business inkjet market? Without a doubt, that would be HP Inc., particularly with its PageWide inkjets, and Epson, particularly with its inkjet MFPs with replaceable ink packs, and a 100-ppm Epson inkjet MFP.

Other vendors include Brother International, Canon, Xerox (with its solid ink), and Memjet (over the last several year, however, Memjet has been concentrating on specialty and commercial printing applications, particularly inkjet label printing). Those who have gotten out of inkjet – Lexmark and Kodak – did so without venturing very far into business inkjet, exiting the consumer inkjet market several years ago. Ricoh also put in an office-inkjet bid – remember its viscous-ink inkjets? – but now reserves inkjet for commercial and production printing.

Interestingly, this week Canon fortified its PIXMA line – a traditionally consumer inkjet line – with two business inkjets. Canon has been notably late to transfer into business inkjet – only introducing its first business inkjet line (Maxify) in 2014. But it was interesting to note this week that Canon positioned two of its new PIXMA models as business inkjets (equipping them with auto document feeders and auto duplexing, and one with Ethernet network interface). At this point, however, Canon has a great deal of ground to make up, with both HP and Epson having forged seemingly insurmountable leads.

Financial News

HP Posts Second-Consecutive Quarter of Higher Revenue, Raises Forecast – Read more here.

Office-Imaging News

Next-Gen Lexmark Printers and MFPs Now Available in U.S. – Read more here.

Lexmark Introduces In-Store Capture Solution for Retail – Read more here.

Canon U.S.A. Adds New Box and mxHero Solutions for Content Management – Read more here.

New Canon New PIXMA TR8520 and TR7520 Inkjet All-in-Ones with Business-Class Features – Read more here.

New Brother Partner Program Aimed at Developing New Mobile-Printing Solutions – Read more here.

New Kyocera Net Manager Fleet-Management Solution – Read more here.

Legal Briefs

Canon Wins Injunctions Against Two German Third-Party Toner-Cartridge Manufacturers – Read more here.

3D-Printing News

HP Inc.: How 3D Printing is Set to Change Manufacturing –  Read more here.

Home- and Consumer-Imaging News

New Canon PIXMA TS All-In-Ones for Home Use Feature Six-Ink System, ‘Message in Print App,’ More – Read more here.

Epson Introduces New Portable HD Document Cameras for Education – Read more here.

Other News

Photizo Acquired by Virtulytix, as Kentucky Commonwealth Files Lawsuit on Behalf o Unpaid Employees – Read more here.

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