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Top Stories in the July 2017 Issue:

  • The Editorial:  “Sure, We Can Do That!” - The common thread in a pair of recent US announcements from Ricoh and Konica Minolta is the quest by these companies to find new things to do with the thousands of MFP service technicians they already employ but need less and less as hardware continues to improve. When you break it all down, their new message is amazingly simple ... “We have lots of service techs who do lots of stuff, so why not let them do stuff for you?” But is this really a great business strategy or a way to avoid tougher choices?

  • Katyusha ... Is It Nyet or Not Yet? Ten months ago, a nondescript group of Russian companies said they were creating a new inkjet platform, and it was being designed and built in Russia. The companies claimed the “Katyusha” inkjet printer and MFP would be available in mid-2018. We and many others were skeptical, but it appears work on these first homegrown made-in-Russia printing devices is on track. Look for a working prototype in September, and production shipments in mid-2018, but don’t look for any of this to matter very much.

  • A New AIO Category of OneJapan’s Funai has done almost nothing right since it paid $100 million for Lexmark’s mediocre inkjet technology four years ago. But one thing Funai has just done deserves a little recognition. The company has created the industry’s first AIO that’s optimized for the crafting community. Rather than just slap a new name on an old product, Funai has made a few modest changes to an old device that actually show some insight into what crafting users want. Sadly, this probably won’t help Funai sell many more printers

  • A Healthy Choice? Konica Minolta just announced it will lead a $1 billion purchase of California-based Ambry Genetics, a private company that offers a comprehensive suite of genetic testing solutions for inherited and non-inherited diseases and for numerous clinical specialties. The acquisition is the largest for Konica Minolta since the company was formed back in 2003 through the merger of the former Konica and Minolta. Can this overdue move really lessen Konica Minolta’s overwhelming dependence on print? If so, does this deal make sense? And what comes next?


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