In transient: Epson lately introduced a major shift in its printing technique, doubling down on inkjet expertise whereas vowing to drag out of the laser printer market. The Japanese electronics firm in asserting its new WorkForce Enterprise AM-Series of business-focused merchandise mentioned it will finish world gross sales and distribution of laser printers by 2026.
Epson contends that inkjet expertise can scale back power consumption in comparison with laser printers because of the latter’s want for warmth in the course of the printing course of. Epson additionally mentioned its new inkjet printers assist restrict sources used throughout manufacturing and transport, and that top yield ink cartridges scale back materials utilization, transport and storage necessities.
Furthermore, Epson mentioned inkjets make the most of fewer shifting and consumable components over their lifetime in comparison with lasers. This, the corporate claims, considerably reduces service and upkeep wants, leading to much less printer downtime, improved productiveness and heightened end-user satisfaction.
From clogged nozzles and deliberate obsolescence to the excessive value of refills, inkjet printers have been a scorching potato amongst shoppers for years. I recall a pal in highschool that swore by shopping for a brand new printer when his ink cartridge would run out as a result of it was cheaper than merely buying a substitute cartridge.
In 2016, HP got here below hearth for pushing out an replace that might disable third-party ink cartridges. Consumer backlash was swift, and HP finally apologized for not being extra clear and backtracked. As Ars Technica highlights, the corporate continues to be paying for the misstep – most lately to the tune of $1.35 million to compensate impacted customers in Europe.
It’s unclear how shoppers and companies will react to Epson’s choice to focus solely on inkjets shifting ahead. One additionally has to marvel if the pandemic did not have one thing to do with the corporate’s shift in technique.
As an August 2021 report from IDC highlights, pages printed utilizing laser declined 16 % yr over yr in 2020 because of the influence of lockdowns and the shift to working remotely. In distinction, pages printed utilizing inkjet printers elevated 4 % throughout the identical interval.
Image credit score: JJ Ying, Cottonbro