HP to sell low-cost ink
Change of attitude
Michael Hoffmann, the head of the European operations of HP's printer division, has told German daily Süddeutsche Zeitung that his company is going to sell low-cost ink alongside better quality cartridges.
Customers will be able to buy more than one type of cartridge: from low-cost ink for bulk-printing purposes, to high quality ink for printing photographs. The low-cost ink will cost as little as € 10, Hoffman told the German newspaper. He also promised that the price of printers will not rise as a result.
Kodak and Fujifilm recently announced similar plans.
The high cost of cartridges for home inkjet printers has infuriated customers for many years. The cost of ink-cartridge replacements often exceed the price of the printer. It also led to a sprawling industry of refill stations.
In the past, companies such as Hewlett-Packard tried to crack down on the cartridge refill industry. In 2005 HP asked a refill company in the US to stop using inks with the same chemical composition that's found in its patented brand of Vivera inks.
Printer ink is a $32bn market worldwide, but printer manufacturers keep losing market share to the refill industry. US chain Walgreens recently rolled out an inkjet refill service at many of its photo labs. About 1,500 of the chain's more than 5,000 stores now offer the service.
Cartridge World, the world's fastest growing ink cartridge refill franchise concept with $400m in annual revenues and 800 employees, has recently announced its expansion plans for Israel. ®
Nice page about printer cartridges & ink longevity
This announcement from HP is good news. Anything which demystfies the opaque inkjet market is a good thing. We know it's the 'razor blade' marketing model, but there's enough difference between the various manufacturers that one can't help wondering what kind of razor blade will give you the best shave (so to speak).
... and I just wanted to pass on this link to you folks:
Yes, it's 'the' Tim Hunkin of 'Rudiments of Wisdom' and 'Secret Life Of Machines' fame.
Hunkin points to a dearth of reliable (non-partisan) information about cartridges and ink, so he set about dismantling old cartridges (legit and no-name brands) and leaving prints out in the direct sunshine to discover what we're paying for.
He has some very interesting comments about Epson vs. the other brands, and the importance of laminating. More of this stuff would be useful. Anyone else got any tips or resources?
Lower prices = higher profits , that's just the basic capitalistic rule...
that nowadays '68 and post-'68 managers simply don't get. Why their profits are lower when prices are higher ? Pretty simple, because 90%+ of the population simply can't afford buying products at insane prices. So instead of blaming the piracy thing they should lower their prices for a mass market if they want to make profit, instead of always trying to rip customers off.
Ungumming Epson heads
You can often rescue Epson heads - remove the cartridges and drip a drop or two of window-cleaning fluid on to the bit where the ink gets taken from the cartridges. Do a clean and, with any luck, voila.
I've rescued my Epson like this a few times (the printer doesn't get used that often and I use cheap ink). Your mileage may vary.
Re: Good side of expensive ink...
I have known 4 "japanese printers" [Epson] where using genuine Epson ink tanks and not using the printer for 2-3 weeks was enough to bin the printer... My parents, my girlfriend, one of my maintenance techs and a neigbour, and the repair price is more than the cost of the complete printer.
Since that point, they have all gone HP.
Worse, I am currently under contract for that aforementionned "japanese printer company", and the focus is on selling - in the printer division - consumables and not hardware. The numbers are confidential but there is far, far more more than a "fair difference" between hardware and consumable sales... even when their ink prices been dropped...
epson ink is glycol based hence the 'gumming up' if the printer isnt used regularly.