Dell Inc. has signed partnerships with Fuji Xerox Co. Ltd., Eastman Kodak Co. and Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. to "significantly" expand its imaging and printing product line up, it said Thursday.
New products are planned for later this year, Dell executives said in a presentation at the Consumer Electronics Show here in Las Vegas. Dell did not disclose details of planned products or of the agreements with the three technology companies.
The ties with Fuji Xerox, Kodak and Samsung add to Dell's existing relationship with Lexmark International Inc., the company said. Dell last year started selling printers manufactured by Lexmark with a Dell brand.
"We don't just limit ourselves to one partner," Dell Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Michael Dell said. "These companies have a great array of technologies that Dell will now have access to and you will see some great products as a result of these partnerships over the next year."
Since the first Dell printers started selling in March, nearly two million Dell printers have been sold, said John Hamlin senior vice president and general manager of Dell's U.S. consumer business in the same presentation. "We are very proud of what we have been able to accomplish in a very short time," he said.
Dell underlined the importance of the consumer electronics space for the company, but did not provided details as to which new product areas Dell plans to enter. "We have some fairly simple criteria for evaluating new markets. We'd like to see markets that are standardizing and that are large and profitable," he said.
Adding new partners will help Dell compete with imaging and printing market leader Hewlett-Packard Co. (HP), said Rob Enderle, principal analyst at Enderle Group, a consulting firm specializing on emerging technologies, in San Jose, California.
"HP has one area they can clearly trump Dell and that is in printing and imaging. Lexmark alone simply isn't strong enough to counter this," he said. Dell is now adding other partners to capture their top products and construct a competitive offering, Enderle said.
Whether Dell can be successful selling printers from multiple vendors hinges on whether it can deliver the supplies in an efficient manner, Enderle said. "It depends on how attractive the direct model is for printer supplies," he said.
Dell has proven that the direct selling model works for printers, Dell said.