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!
HP Firmware Updates Block Generic Cartridges; OEM Engenders Outrage in Australia and Europe
HP Inc., it seems, is quickly turning into the celebrity diva of the printing world. It has been in the news for various reasons lately and it doesn’t look like this trend is going away soon. Only last week, we covered HP Inc.’s acquisition of Samsung printer business, which itself followed the post on the launch of HP DesignJet Z-Series printers. Then, there were posts on the settlement between HP Inc. and Memjet in August and the release of HP DeskJet 3700 in the month of July. Our point is that HP Inc. has really been in the news in the last few months.
However, the latest news is slightly different. All the recent news about HP Inc. has been positive from one perspective or another; this one isn’t. This news is definitely not in favour of HP. You see, HP is now facing a heavy backlash from its users and consumer, industry associations, and consumer advocacy groups. Why do you ask? Well, you see, HP Inc. implemented certain firmware updates that resulted in its printers rejecting generic, remanufactured, and refilled cartridges. However, that isn’t even the worst part of the story. The worst part is that HP had the audacity to do all this in stealth. Now, this move may backfire for HP considering the fact that users across Europe and Australia are outraged by the move.
In Australia, the consumer advocacy group, Choice, has come out and spoken against HP firmware updates and in favour of users that want to use third-party manufactured cartridges. As reported by the Sydney Morning Herald, Choice has announced that it will be investigating whether the HP firmware updates are in breach of Australian Consumer Law. Choice believes that HP has moved to lock its printer owners into a position where they can only buy the original cartridges.
According to Choice, what makes this move worse is that it was done in stealth. This is important because it takes away consumers’ choice to not buy HP Inc.’s printers. For instance, if the current owners of HP printers had known what the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) was about to do, they may have decided to not buy HP’s printers and opt for another OEM’s printers. Basically, Choice’s contention is that HP’s stealthy move took away the consumers’ right to choose. By this logic, the entire move can fall under the category of deception. Thus, Choice is looking to figure out if HP firmware updates can be construed as having misled or deceived consumers.
A similar kind of storyline is developing on another continent – Europe. The European Toner & Inkjet Remanufacturers Association (ETIRA) has revealed that it will be investigating the damage caused by the HP firmware updates as well. ETIRA’s move was announced by none other than its General Secretary Vincent van Dijk, who also stated that HP firmware updates have damaged the remanufacturing industry’s reputation.
When HP Australia was approached by the Sydney Morning Herald, the news publication’s representative was told that the HP firmware updates will only affect those third-party cartridges that don’t use HP Inc.’s original chips. Globally, HP Inc. has responded by stating that it is “constantly improving security for its products and customers”. The global statement further revealed that HP firmware updates came in two forms. The first was that they were built into new HP products such as HP OfficeJet, HP OfficeJet Pro, and HP OfficeJet Pro X printers. The second mode through which HP firmware updates were implemented was through direct software upgrades.
As per industry watchers, forum threads and social media platforms are full of complaints from HP Inc. consumers that have been affected by the secret HP firmware updates. In fact, some signs even suggest that the OEM has been deleting certain comments and posts by its consumers on its help forums.
Color Painter E-64s Wide Format Printer and C942dn Digital Production Device Launched By Oki
Oki Data has expanded its professional printing market product catalogue by incorporating two new printer models in the form of the Color Painter E-64s wide format printer and the C942dn digital production device. The launch took place during the Speciality Graphic Imaging Association (SGIA) Expo that took place in Las Vegas, USA.
The Color Painter E-64s wide format printer is aimed at sign and graphics printing shops with print volumes falling in the low to mid-level spectrum. This printer is ideal for printing exhibit graphics, POP displays, wall and floor graphics, fleet and vehicle graphics, backlit signage, and banners amongst others. The E-64s printer is based on industrial strength piezo print heads that are designed to durable over extended periods of time. These piezo print heads are complemented by Oki’s eco-solvent and low odour SX inks. This printer also comes with the GREENGUARD Gold certification that is issued for safe indoor applications. Other features of the Color Painter E-64s wide format printer include automatic print adjustment and a CP_ Manager Software programme.
The C942dn, on the other hand, is a five station, five colour device that supports the standard CMYK configuration but adds white toner to the mix. It is an A3 digital production printer that utilised Oki’s proprietary LED printing technology. The C942dn is typified by its small footprint and low acquisition cost, especially when compared to its direct competitors in the market. For instance, the acquisition cost of the C942dn, according to the OEM, is 80 percent lower than its closest competitors. Media handling of the C942dn is also exceptional since it can take on a wide array of media types including heavyweight stock with a thickness of up to 360 gsm, banners of up to a maximum length of 1.32 metres, magnets, and polyester.
While the highlight of Oki’s displays at the SGIA 2016 Expo were these two printers, the OEM had other devices on exhibition too such as the Color Painter M-64s, the Color Painter H3-104s grand format printer, and the C711WT HD digital colour printer.