Top Stories in the August 2018 Issue:
The Editorial: “Time to Close the Printer Patent File?” - Consider the main axes along which one might posit there’s either a need or an opportunity for technological
improvement in the design of MFPs and printers. It could be hardware pricing, page costs, solutions support or overall usability.
But it’s difficult to posit a list of changes that will accrue savings or better utility to customers such that those
changes spur real organic growth in overall placements or total pages, or truly shift relative market share among vendors.
- HP Pays a Big Premium for UK-Based Apogee - HP said the overriding rationale for paying nearly $500
million for Apogee is that it “expands HP’s services portfolio in [the] contracted office printing and MPS categories,
where solutions are increasingly important for small and medium businesses.” HP emphasized it has no plan to fully integrate
Apogee, and insisted it will treat the company like any other dealer. That’s a noble goal but one that can prove difficult
in reality. Meanwhile, the bigger question is whether HP will seek nwo to buy similarly large regional dealers in the US.
- Faxploit: It's HP! Not Me .- After detecting a hacking vulnerability is a
single HP AIO model, Check Point Research went so far as to warn, “We strongly believe that similar vulnerabilities apply to other fax vendors
too, as this research concerns the fax communication protocols in general.” And that angle was certainly picked up in
many of the Faxploit stories that appeared in the news. However, one might legitimately ask whether it would have been more
prudent for CPR to have tested at least one other fax device from another vendor before positing such an explosive claim.
So far, HP seems to be the only vendor with this issue.
- Signs of Recovery at Nuance - Nuance’s Imaging unit showed tentative signs of recovery in Q3 of FY2018, but there’s
still a long way to go for the world’s largest seller of MFP solutions. That’s because in the past six years,
Nuance’s non-GAAP Imaging revenue has declined on a year-over year basis twice as frequently as it has grown.
It fell in fifteen quarters and grew in just eight quarters. And
Q3 of FY2018 was only the second quarter out of the past seven straight quarters in which non-GAAP Imaging revenue
grew on a year-over year basis.
Misfires - Epson’s
new “Business Edition” models include up to twice as much ink as the corresponding regular products, and an extra
year has been added to the warranty. The big problem is that when
one calculates the value of the extra bundled supplies, most of the Business Edition devices
do not make good economic sense for buyers.