This Week in Imaging: Canon and Business Inkjet; HP Opens up MPS Accounts; More
In October 2018, Canon U.S.A. entered the A3 business-inkjet market with that WG7200 series, joining HP Inc. and Epson. Unlike HP Inc. and Epson, however, Canon made the announcement of its new A3 business inkjet line, which will be available in early 2019, with little fanfare. Canon has made and sold consumer and SOHO inkjets for decades, but these models, which can reach up to 80 ppm, and can print on up to 13″ x 19″ media, are its first A3 inkjet models for the office and enterprise.
While both HP and Epson have typically introduced their business inkjets with a great deal of fanfare – including on-the-road expos and demonstrations – that wasn’t the case with Canon. (The company, it seems, doesn’t often make a big deal of things – a few years ago, for instance, at Canon Expo, we found its first 3D printer tucked away in a quiet little niche.)
What Canon is doing is emphasizing business-inkjet advantages compared to laser, emphasizing a self-serviceable design with only one replaceable part (an ADF roller kit, and user-replaceable ink cartridge accessed from the front panel). It’s also addressed some potential inkjet challenges of the past with new inks formulated with an anti-curling solvent to prevent paper curling, which are also faster and highlighter-resistant.
Like HP Inc., Canon will now be selling both laser-based and business-inkjet for the office. Over the years, we’ve asked HP Inc. reps how both inkjet and laser can co-exist together, and the answer is that generally there’s no problem, with each said to appeal to different sets of customer’s needs – with inkjet, for instance, providing low-cost color printing. How far Canon will take its business inkjet and if the two can peacefully coexist remains to be seen.
According to projections made by IDC, the “business inkjet market will grow by a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10.2 percent over the period 2015 to 2020.” IDC also predicts that “inkjet is likely to surpass 60 percent of total shipments by 2020,” with most of that growth coming from color devices aimed at the workgroup. So the business-inkjet market opportunity does seem to be real – the question is how aggressive – or not – Canon will be.
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