IT giant Hewlett Packard this month announced its intention to seriously disrupt the conventional copier market, unveiling a strategy clearly aimed at dislodging established photocopier vendors. At the heart of the plan is the newly launched LaserJet 4345 multi function printer which, the company claims, delivers similar performance and features to mainstream copiers at roughly a third of the cost. The machine, to be priced around £1500, provides 45ppm printing and copying in a desktop sized package. The device will be sold through HP’s existing reseller channel and will not require the customer to take out any sort of service contract. The company believes this approach will allow it to reach the small to medium business sector far more effectively than current copier market players.
Michael Hoffmann, HP’s senior vice president for the imaging and printing group in EMEA said “Put the factors together – the product not being very reliable, high service intensity and a large direct sales presence, coupled with a specialised channel that mainly focuses around servicing those devices, and you have a very expensive model which makes the price high for SMEs. We wanted to disrupt this with a model which is more like what we are seeing in the IT industry. Our devices use an engine which has proven reliability over 20 years, LaserJet engines which we developed in partnership with Canon show outstanding mean time between failure, outstanding duty cycles and they require almost no servicing, therefore our service pricing is fixed, it is very low.”