HP poised to enter low-cost printer market

Hewlett-Packard is introducing a new low-end line of inkjet printers under the Apollo brand name in the next few months. The devices are being developed and sold by Apollo Consumer Products, a new HP subsidiary. The single-cartridge printers could sell for as little as $US80 apiece

Hewlett-Packard is introducing a new low-end line of inkjet printers under the Apollo brand name in the next few months.

The devices are being developed and sold by Apollo Consumer Products, a new HP subsidiary. Exact pricing wasn't available, but the printers could sell for as little as $US80 apiece. On the downside, the devices are likely hold a single ink cartridge, as do other ultra low-end printers, requiring you to switch between cartridges depending on whether you want to print colour or monochrome. Concurrently, HP is cutting the price of the low-end DeskJet 420C inkjet printer in the US by about $US20.

While the impact of a move to make printers that will probably sell under the $200 mark has yet to gauged by HP in New Zealand, new products in this growing market segment are likely to be greeted with some enthusiasm by the company here. A number of printer companies, notably Canon and Epson, hold considerable share in the ultra low end segment of the NZ mar---ket. HP's manager for consumer printers Justin Tye, who was briefed on Apollo in Singapore last week, says with ultra-cheap printers the consumer wins and PC manufacturers win through bundling deals but the end-user gets a "pretty basic machine".

Apollo is operating with separate headquarters, management, distribution and sales and will offer its printers through regional distributors. Manufacturing and customer support will be handled with third-party contracts, and Apollo will -purchase print engine technology from

HP. Currently, the subsidiary has 10 employees.

IDC printer market analyst Pat Pilcher believes if Apollo expands into the Asia-Pacific it may take 12 to 18 months before Apollo printers make it to New Zealand. Pilcher says the venture could present

HP with a "considerable opportunity" for volume retailing or bundling but wonders if Apollo's structure will allow significant margin.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments
[]