Inkjet Wholesale News aims to provide updates on the latest significant occurrences in the field of printing. Whether it’s the launch of a new technology or volatility of market prices, we’ll be here to give you the lowdown on what happened, when it happened, and what it means!
How Can The Lexmark Sale Saga Be Wrapped Up? Who’ll Step Up?
When things don’t work out for you, they really don’t work out for you. Lexmark’s story could be interpreted as an example of this corollary of the Murphy’s Law. To be fair to Murphy’s Law, though, it is diverse and worldly enough to spawn a number of corollaries. Besides, citing Murphy’s Law is fashionable. Perhaps, Lexmark’s competing Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) are sitting in their respective board rooms rubbing their hands maniacally at the possibility of more things going wrong for Lexmark.
Lexmark, to its credit, has been trying to keep its head above water, despite steadily posting poor financial results and failing to find a good enough buyer for its printers and associated supplies division. The year began fairly well for Lexmark as Lexmark sale rumours suggested that the OEM has found a buyer for its printing division in the form of Konica Minolta. The good news continued in February, when we reported on Lexmark’s launch of seven new printer and multifunction printer models.
Last month, we talked about Lexmark sale rumours that Lexmark had not only Konica Minolta’s offer to consider but offers from a number of other sources as well. The healthy stream of good news, however, started drying up near the end of last month, when Lexmark’s legal adversary – Impression Products – got the support of the US government along with a number of technological giants for its appeal against Lexmark.
Rumours have this characteristic. Some of them are time sensitive. Consider rumours about asset acquisition. The longer they remain unresolved, the longer the asset in question is in the market. If you’ve ever purchased or sold property, you’d know that the longer the property remains on the market, the less valuable it gets.
Now, we’re not implying that the same is true for the Lexmark sale saga but it makes you think. The only thing in favour of Lexmark from the perspective of this acquisition is its pedigree. The OEM has enough about it to resist the kind of asset obsolescence that results from an asset remaining on the market too long.
Having said all that, though, may be all that is happening is that Lexmark is holding out for a good deal. Latest rumours about the Lexmark sale revolve around Chinese companies. The two Chinese companies in question are Lenovo and the Ninestar – Apex Group.
Lenovo’s interest in the Lexmark sale of its hardware business makes complete sense especially if one considers the fact that Lenovo presents itself as the world’s largest PC manufacturing company. This kind of lateral diversification is completely logical in the business world. What fuels the rumour that Lenovo has put in a bid on Lexmark’s printer business is the fact that such an acquisition would give Lenovo’s arch nemesis HP the heebie-jeebies.
It is worth mentioning that there’s historical connection between Lenovo and Lexmark too. Lenovo’s PC business and Lexmark have both spawned from IBM, when the technology giant decided to say goodbye to commodity based hardware industries. It’s even more interesting that soon after Lenovo took over IBM’s PC business, there were rumours that it had put in a bid for Lexmark. Considering this history, if the rumour that Lenovo is in for Lexmark again turns out to be true, not many people will be surprised.
On the other hand, if the Ninestar – Apex Group vis-à-vis Lexmark sale rumour turns out to be true, then quite a few people may be surprised. However, these people would be largely from outside the industry because everyone in the printing sector knows that Ninestar is primarily an aftermarket manufacturer that has always wanted to be seen as a major printer OEM for a long time now.
Ninestar has already tried its hand at actually manufacturing printer hardware which resulted in Pantum laser printers. Unfortunately, the Pantum line of printers couldn’t break into the global market and remain limited to the domestic sector in China. Since that Ninestar plan didn’t work out as it had predicted, the Lexmark sale gives the aftermarket manufacturer another bite at the cherry from a different angle.
There are some serious obstacles that the Ninestar – Apex Group will have to overcome to be the recipient of the Lexmark sale. The foremost of these obstacles is the funding, which many industry insiders believe is lacking in the Ninestar coffers.
A very interesting story behind this rumour is that Lexmark, in its well documented strategy of attacking aftermarket suppliers, went after Ninestar only six years ago in 2010. Lexmark won that battle but if Ninestar – Apex Group is successful with this Lexmark sale, then it will be Ninestar that will have the last laugh!
Four New Models Launched By Canon for Its imagePROGRAF Pro Series of Printers
Canon has added four new models to its celebrated imagePROGRAF Pro series of printers. The four new imagePROGRAF Pro printer models are designed specifically for large format markets such as photographic and production signage and fine art.
Of the four new printers, two are high end Chroma Optimizer models boasting of 11 colours while the other two are economy models capable of handling eight colours. The 11 colour models are imagePROGRAF Pro – 4000 (44 inches) and imagePROGRAF Pro – 2000 (24 inches), while the eight colour models are imagePROGRAF Pro – 6000S (60 inch) and imagePROGRAF Pro – 4000S (44 inches).
As is obvious, the high end models are designed to deliver maximum photographic print quality, which means that they are tailor made for the fine art industry. Needless to say, these photographic print quality producing devices are also designed to be compatible with Canon DSLR cameras. Even design and aesthetic elements of these devices also match the typical Canon theme of a red line.
The image quality of these devices is above average because of Canon’s LUCIA Pro 11 colour plus Chroma Optimizer ink system. This ink system is known for its improved black optical density, shadow reproduction, gloss uniformity, image clarity, scratch resistance, low bronzing, and greater colour gamut. Even the print heads used in this series are wider at 1.28 inches and are accompanied by anti-clogging technology. The anti-clogging technology makes these printers particularly efficient by streamlining cleaning cycles and preventing ink wastage.
The imagePROGRAF Pro series also promotes productivity with the available option of the Multifunction Roll System. This system comes installed in the 60 inch device and can be added to the other two versions. The purpose of this system is to allow glossy and matte media to be printed simultaneously without any change in settings or inks required.
The imagePROGRAF Pro series is also highlighted by the L-COA Pro processing engine that is installed in each model. This engine is capable of processing high resolution data at incredible speeds without compromising on precision in any way.
While Canon has announced the new imagePROGRAF Pro entrants, the printers themselves will only become available in late spring this year in the US.