Konica Minolta joins Ricoh Company of Japan, which also recently announced that it will shift some of its copier/MFP production out of China.
Sharp CEO and Chairman Tai Jeng-wu said trade frictions between the United States and China could provide an “opportunity” to expand its business with Chinese companies, in contrast to many other manufacturers who have voiced concerns over U.S. tariffs on imported Chinese goods.
Sharp said it has achieved 10 consecutive quarters of increasing net profits since the third-quarter quarter of its fiscal 2016 year.
Sharp today expanded its copier/MFP line with the addition of four new high speed models to its color Advanced and Essentials Series lineup, bringing the total to 11 models in the product family.
The majority of growth was experienced in the Asia Pacific (excluding Japan) and U.S. markets, rather than in Europe.
For instance, via voice command, users can request the MFP to make a copy or scan a document to themselves.
The MX-C304W also features Voice feature with Amazon Alexa, enabling users to interact with the printer by using simple verbal commands.
One of the interesting things about technology is that we can’t always see where it will eventually take us, a case in point being drop-on-demand inkjet printing.
The company stated that despite the U.S.-China trade war and other economic disruptions, it “secured bottom-line profit…with its profit margin outperforming” the same period a year earlier.
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Like HP Inc., Canon will now be selling both laser-based and business-inkjet for the office.
The Alexa voice system enables users, after authenticating themselves, to use voice commands to make copies, scan to email, and call for service.
“External factors can make top candidates ready to consider their options in an afternoon. They may have a new sales manager they don’t like; the dealer switched their territory; their compensation changed; or they want to relocate.”
Operating profit for the Smart Business Solution segment was 9.0 billion yen, down 7.3 percent versus the same period a year earlier.
HP for its part, has hedged its bets with toner and ink, offering both HP LaserJet and Samsung toner-based copiers, and PageWide inkjet copiers.
“Sharp continues to drive innovation by creating new offerings that raise the bar for entry-level print and MFP devices.”