Minolta-QMS is primed to crack the cost barrier of colour printing with the release of a sub-$2000 colour laser printer in September.
The new Minolta-QMS model, the 2300 (4ppm colour/16ppm mono), will be showcased in August and will be available to dealers the following month. A major retailer has already signed up to sell the product as its only colour laser brand on range.
"[The 2300 release and signing on a national retail chain] really does put the stake in the ground for us," said Stuart Drysdale, managing director of Minolta-QMS Asia-Pacific.
Drysdale admits that uptake of the Minolta-QMS brand in Australia has been disappointing to date. "[It's been] the slowest of all the Asia-Pacific countries", he said, despite the 20 point up-front margins.
Nevertheless, Drysdale is confident a growth spurt is in the pipeline, particularly with the overall drop in Minolta-QMS prices which is the result of a company restructure in April. The re-jig establishes Asia-Pacific as an autonomous business unit reporting directly to Japan instead of Europe and product will be shipped directly from Hong Kong.
This has subsequently slashed insurance, freight and currency conversion costs as well as fulfilment times. For dealers, it translates to a 20-40 per cent decrease in buy prices, for example, the 3100 16ppm colour A4 has dropped 39 per cent to a retail price of $5455 and the magicolor 2210, 5ppm colour/20ppm mono is retailing for $4355.
New price books were released to distributors last month and Minolta is assessing stock levels to determine when to implement the new pricing. Drysdale said distributors will either be given extra breathing room to get rid of old stock or will receive a cheque for the difference.