This Week in Imaging: Sharp National Dealer Meeting First Impressions

Sharp robot greeting visitors at the 2017 Sharp National Dealer Meeting in Phoenix.

This week we found ourselves in lovely Phoenix, Arizona, covering the Sharp 2017 National Dealer Meeting. As you know, last year, Foxconn Technology Group acquired a controlling interest ($3.5 billion) in Japan’s Sharp Corporation. After completing the acquisition, Foxconn also announced that it’d be invested some $178 million in Sharp’s business-solutions group.

When the acquisition was completed last year, perhaps one of the most pressing questions was: what would the relationship be like between tech-giant Foxconn and Sharp? Would Foxconn be a frugal, overbearing boss, or a generous benefactor?

We got some answers this week, with Sharp Business executives touting the deep breadth of Foxconn’s technology and robust procurement and manufacturing muscle that Sharp now has access to. Foxconn is the world’s largest contract electronics manufacturer with clients like Apple, HP,  and  Google. Foxconn also appears to be quite willing to give Sharp plenty of time – “They see this as a marathon,” noted Sharp’s Doug Albregts, president and CEO of Sharp Imaging and Information Company of America. “Foxconn’s investment in Sharp has changed the game.” Sharp will also be getting a first-hand look at new tech coming out from Foxconn, an example being Sharp’s Skywell, an atmospheric water generator that takes water from the air to provide fresh water.

We also got an answer to a perennial question: when will Sharp have Sharp-brand A4? Now, in fact. Sharp is rolling out a whole series of A4 MFPs and printers that promise, among other things, low-cost per page and common supplies and structure across the line.

There’s been lots more going on at Sharp this week – including who might be the best dancer among imaging-company CEOs – so stay tuned for our extended coverage next week. In the meantime, see Sharp’s press release below outlining a few key introductions, as well as a new Sharp program under which Sharp recruits and trains U.S. military veterans for employment with Sharp dealers.

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