How & Why Kodak Entered Into Printer Ink Cartridge Business

By: James Kara Murat

Basing on Kodak's history of diversifying into industries related to manufacturing its camera production requirements, e.g., plastics for film, film supply for medical institutions, etc., it does not come as a surprise then if Kodak ventures into printers and ink cartridge business. Kodak, successfully riding into the digital age, and being one of the stronger contenders in digital photography, is completing the entire digital imaging package: it entered into producing high quality printers to support its superior line of digital cameras.

Kodak has a historical legacy of putting more cameras into the hands of the ordinary people since its inception in the 1870's by producing cheaper, easier to operate cameras, and their equally cheaper and easier to develop films. This is just like history repeating itself. Kodak, several generations later, is putting cameras into the hands of ordinary people with its high quality but lesser-priced digital cameras. It is now placing out into the market, easier way to print photos with its line of high quality printers: Kodak photo printers with camera docks, and cheaper ink cartridge replacements.

Ink Cartridges Priced 50% Lower than Prevailing Brands

By entering into a joint venture with Lexmark, Kodak joined into the fray of the lucrative business of inkjet photo printers in 1999. It introduced Kodak Personal Picture Maker, a virtual darkroom equivalent of the traditional cameras with a 1200 x 1200 dpi resolution, connected via a parallel-port and CompactFlash and SmartMedia compatible high quality printers that are usable even without using a computer.

Seven years later, Kodak announces the introduction of a new product line of high quality printers that are touted to be revolutionary in the sense that these printers will give 50% cost savings to the printing public. These new models of All-In-One (AiO) high quality printers, thanks to Kodacolor Technology, produce lab quality prints while making a considerable savings for consumers in terms of ink cartridge replacements. Commonly known as Kodak Easyshare printers, these AiO models print out bright and crisp high resolution photos by using high quality pigment-based ink. Photos printed from these are known to last a lifetime. Furthermore, the replacement ink cartridge for these types of printers is way much cheaper because the print head are not manufactured with the ink cartridge. The ink cartridge just serves as an ink tank.

Kodak Targets the Sweet Spot of the Market: Photo Printers at Home

These high quality printers are directed towards everyday consumers as these printers, specifically the ink cartridges, are designed to cut down on ink replacement costs. This is exactly the opposite of what PC printer giants like Hewlett-Packard, Canon, and Epson have been doing. These competitors have been selling printers at a lower cost as they intend to make money consistently on ink cartridge replacements.

Kodak claims that these AiO high quality printers, in terms of cost, can print twice the number of photos or documents compared to using the competitors' printers and ink cartridges. This is made possible by designing the printers with built-in print head, so consumers will only buy ink in its tank without the print head that makes them very expensive. Kodak adds that you need not throw away those print heads every time users buy a new ink cartridge. Kodak also sells Kodak Value Pack that is claimed to reduce the printing cost of a 4 x 6 inch photo.

Printers
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 

» More on Printers
 



Share this article :
Click to see more related articles