A Few Potential Game Changers for the Hardcopy Industry

For a mature industry, the hardcopy industry continues to change at a very past pace. Mergers and acquisitions among solution providers, systems integrators, and service providers; the changing landscape of the channel and the continuation of technology improvements in printing devices, such as Epson’s EcoTank models, HP’s PageWide and PageWide Pro series, HP Canon’s Pixma CISS printers, Brother Refill Tank System and others.

New business models have evolved in order for hardcopy vendors to stay current and demonstrate they have moved with the market: Xerox’s Small Office Savings Plan, HP’s Instant Ink, Brother and Samsung aligning with Amazon’s Dash Replenishment Service.

The ‘gloves are off’ with most OEMs and changes in the industry have occurred on a regular basis. It’s important to stay abreast of these advancements to ensure your business model is not significantly affected. Let’s take a look at potential industry ‘game changers’ that could occur over the next three to five years. Only you can size up where you stand if one or more of these occur. Do you have signposts along the way to make adjustments to minimize the effect of each?


Game Changer Probability Industry Impact
Supplies Price War: Apex prices Lexmark supplies at 75% of current price to gain market share.


>50% If others respond, reduces total industry revenue by 12%, cuts industry profitability by 40% or more.
Mass Market Direct: A major vendor utilizes highly automated, Amazon-style direct to customer fleet management program to capture SMB market, thus cutting out the channel.


>33% Southwest Airlines style offering (excellent service, standardized offering, no frills) gains significant share and cannibalizes current BTA dealer channel.
PageWide wins A3: HP A3 PageWide Pro enters market at 50% (or less) of current A3 products priced with twice the performance, dealer penetration is successful resulting in HP gaining a dominant market share in the A3 market. >25% Canon, Konica Minolta, and Xerox lose significant share and profitability. HP revenue and profit rise dramatically. Marginal players may not survive. This benefits Epson as inkjet in the office accelerates.


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