Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Samsung floods desktop printer market

Samsung, already the world’s #2 laser printer manufacturer (after HP) and the #1 maker of monochrome desktop laser MFPs, has upped its position in the US office market with the release of a cascade of new black-and-white and color printers and MFPs.

Recently released are three families of color laser printers, three families of monochrome laser printers, four families of color laser multifunctionals, and five families of monochrome laser multifunctionals. These include models ranging in speed from 16ppm to 55ppm.

One of Samsung’s big advantages is its ability to source many of its own hardware components, including processors, LCD panels, and memory chips, along with design and software. This means faster bring-to-market times, it claims, than its rivals. Already, it is OEMing its technology to widening number of companies, including Xerox, Ricoh, Lexmark, and Dell.

At an analyst meeting earlier this fall, Samsung shared the following predictions about the overall industry:
▪The total US market for printers and supplies (around $60 billion) is flatlining, with minimal growth expected over the next five years.
▪ As you might expect, the color MFP (desktop) market is expected to grow, while black-and-white printing and MFPs stay stable or decline. What’s surprising is that they see minimal growth in the color laser printer area.
▪ Samsung plans to compete mainly in the A4 (letter/legal-size) market.
▪ Samsung is trying to differentiate itself by adding memory, increasing processor speed, and beating the competition on consumables costs and street prices.

Clearly, Samsung sees itself grabbing a bigger market share in a basically static market, and that increase had to come at the expense of one or more competitors.

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