HP takes aim at consumers

HP takes aim at consumers

A flood of new products from Hewlett-Packard looks set to consolidate the company's consumer image.

HP has introduced four inkjet printers, as well as a range of integrated printing, scanning and faxing solutions and the odd digital camera, aimed squarely at the retail market.

HP is the number one inkjet vendor in a three-horse race, said HP's deskjet marketing development manager, Karen O'Donnell. If you look at the retail sector, we have 36 per cent of the revenue share. That is quite significant in that environment; customers know us as a trusted, reliable brand.

First off the rank is the HP deskjet 640c, an entry-level printer designed for students and first-time buyers. Retailing for $199, the 640c is HP's first foray in the under $200 category of printers, a sector that now occupies 50 per cent of the inkjet market share, according to research company Gfk's figures.

The sub $200 inkjet category has grown substantially in the last couple of years; 50 per cent of the inkjets sold in the retail sector are in this category, O'Donnell said.

HP has also bundled its ColourSmart 3 technology. The printer is the only inkjet with both USB and parallel ports as standard at the sub $200 price point, according to the company.

Higher up the range, HP's 840C photoprinter aims to capture the second largest slice of the inkjet pie. Targeted at smart shoppers and the small office/home office (SOHO) market, the $349 printer offers photo quality printing at a resolution of up to 1200dpi in photo mode.

Many customers still use dpi as an important purchasing decision, O'Donnell said. We want to use this to make it easier for our channel partners to communicate the quality of the product to the user.

HP also announced the Deskjet 1125c A3 printer for the business sector and a previously unavailable postscript option on its Deskjet 220C for graphics users.

HP's new digital product offerings reflect the drive for integrated scanning and printing solutions, according to the company's all-in-one market development manager, Edmund Wong. To this end, the company has launched an all-colour printer/scanner/copier, digital colour copier and stand-alone scanner for PCs and Macs.

Over the last few years there has been phenomenal growth in the all-in-one area, Wong explained. It is already a $1 billion business for HP. Two years ago, we had one or two products, now we had more than 10.

The market size is driven by customer demand and lower price points, he added.

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