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Top Stories in the February 2018 Issue:

  • The Editorial:  “No Collusion!” - This phrase has become part of the political vernacular, although it remains to be seen if anything comes of it all. Meanwhile, in the hardcopy world, we’ve also got an oddly unanticipated outcome that begs the question whether the players were secretly and illicitly in cahoots to assure the result they all wanted. I’m talking about the complete failure of compact, economical A4-size MFPs to supplant significant swaths of the market for oversized, overpriced A3-MFPs in offices. It ain’t gonna happen. Not now. Not tomorrow. Not ever. But did this outcome result from dreaded collusion?

  • Icahn and Deason Sling Mud at Xerox The month of February did not bring forth a lot of concrete new information regarding the proposed three-way deal amongst Xerox, Fuji Xerox and Fujifilm that was announced on January 31. But it did help sharpen the focus on several contentious issues. And we also witnessed a surprising range of harsh back-and-forth exchanges between Xerox and its two leading billionaire activist investors, Carl Icahn and Darwin Deason. Even though much of the criticism was largely self-serving and some was laughingly ludicrous, it remains to be seen whether the deal will actually go through. Meanwhile, the animosity between the two sides is doing no favors for Xerox stockholders. At the end of February, Xerox’s stock was down 11% from the date the deal was announced a month earlier.

  • HP Leads the Industry in Q1 If there’s one thing we are witnessing so far in 2018, it is that there is no singular trend in the financial performance of hardcopy vendors. Some are clearly struggling. Some are doing better than a year ago, but their future is by no means assured. And a few are doing surprisingly well. Leading that last group is HP, which on February 22 reported it Q1 FY2018 results covering November 2017 to January 2018. This was the first quarter that includes the Samsung printer business, which helped boost HP’s hardcopy revenue 15% over last year. And while HP’s Q1 printing revenue was up 9% from two years ago, it was still 8 lower than just three years ago. 

  • Canon's New Edition Canon is hoping to fundamentally change the way it brings its office MFPs to market, starting with its announcement of a complete “2nd Edition” lineup of new models that replace the original Third Generation (“Gen3”) imageRUNNER ADVANCE MFPs it launched in 2016 and 2017. And in the process, Canon also wants to alter the way business customers perceive it as an IT partner. Of course, we’ve heard this message before in this industry, and while Canon earns an “A” for intent, it doesn’t get a passing grade for the substance of what it is doing or for the execution.


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