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Top Stories in the May 2018 Issue:

  • The Editorial:  “Dominoes in Reverse”Consolidation in the global hardcopy industry is almost certainly on the way. But maybe it’s going to be a top-down affair, rather than sweeping up the smallest players first. I can now postulate multiple paths by which all of the world’s largest hardcopy vendors could in rapid succession be on the buying or selling end of a massive consolidation tsunami that takes just a year or two to finish. All we need to start is for that first big domino to fall. ... Hello, Xerox!

  • Now the Really Hard Work Begins -  Xerox in early May was like that old “Who’s on first?” Abbott and Costello gag. For two weeks, everyone was asking what the hell was going on at a hardcopy company that was once vaunted and respected, but was now downtrodden and embarrassed. Then, even after things settled down a bit mid-month, the situation left many questions unanswered regarding the future relationship between Xerox, Fujifilm and Fuji Xerox, and what fate might hold for a company with new leadership and an uncertain direction.

  • HP Debuts First A3 Line Expansion The new products consist of several 40, 50 and 60 ppm PageWide Managed inkjet devices, plus a trio of 20, 25 and 30 ppm LaserJet Managed MFPs that are based on platforms originally developed by Samsung. All of these products are sold primarily by HP authorized dealers. Although HP described the new MFPs as “SMB optimized” devices, the changes and degree of “optimization” are minor. And getting one's arms around the unnecessarily confusing model names and the barely-there specs is still an unfortunate challenge.

  • It's Do or Die for Funai With its inkjet printer business imploding to produce just $30 million in sales last year, Funai is now touting a new strategy built around developing four categories of inkjet devices:  ink tank printers and AIOs; small business-oriented inkjet MFPs; niche inkjet printers, such as a coupon printer and a printer for printing decals or stickers for fingernails; and unspecified industrial applications for its inkjet technology. But time is not on the company’s side. Barring some unexpected success, Funai could easily be out of the inkjet business a year from now.

  • RIP for HP's AMP HP has confirmed the end-of-life and sell-off for the AMP 100 consumer inkjet printer with built-in Bluetooth speaker it quietly shipped last August. And HP hinted a similar successor is probably not on the way. HP had hoped the short-lived product might pioneer a new multifunction printer category, but the AMP device was unnecessarily expensive, functionally flawed, and poorly marketed, and it appears to have never gained much traction.


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