Singing a medley of songs about recent growth, price drops and expanding channel partnerships, laser printer vendor Kyocera is convinced it can emerge from the HP/Canon/Lexmark shadow as a serious local contender.
While admitting it still suffers a little from brand recognition, David Finn, Kyocera Australia's managing director, last week stressed to resellers the enormous potential for sales and profit from its colour and mono printers.
Finn said all sorts of system integrators, VARs and other dealers can benefit from Kyocera's new price aggression in the market place and marketing activities aimed at increasing brand awareness.
He told ARN that Kyocera's 48 per cent growth in the half year to September has seen it earn the "No.2 spot on the hit parade for a couple of months". He said depending on whose figures you look at, the laser printer market has shrunk by between 3-5 per cent over the same period.
"We have grown and the market hasn't, so something has changed," said Finn, who is now tackling some of HP's SOHO and consumer laser dominance.
Introducing new pricing on Kyocera's six and eight page-per-minute products (FS600, $719 rrp and FS800, $969 rrp), will allow resellers to offer comparable product at the same price as HP but with a lower buy price, Finn said. A three-year return-to-base warranty at no charge adds to the price incentive.
"The majority of resellers still haggle over HP product and make no margin," Finn claimed.
"The channel we develop - which won't be everybody - will be able to sell for the better price and still make margin."
Meanwhile, concurring with the oft-espoused line from vendors about the market's conversion to colour, Finn said: "People that get into the colour market early will be the ones making money in the long term.
"It is a more technical machine. Those that put in the hard yards now - in terms of grasping the technology - will be better armed to get into the corporate and government sectors with solutions for their problems. When the price and performance improves even further, that is where the big bucks are going to be made."