Kodak’s long-awaited entry into the home printer/scanner/copier market happened today, and they’re expected to disrupt the business model of the entire industry by selling their printer ink for less than the cost of caviar. From the Wall Street Journal:
Printer makers, led by Hewlett-Packard Co., have long used the razor-and-blade pricing model, in which the hardware is sold for little or no profit. They derive most of their profits from ink, which is priced at more per ounce than perfume or caviar. Indeed, annual sales of inkjet printers and multifunction devices world-wide are less than one-quarter the annual sales of consumable ink and paper.
Kodak, which is led by several veterans of H-P’s printer group, plans to modify that model by making more money from hardware and accepting lower profits from the ink. It says it will use a combination of new technology and alternative pricing to slash ink prices by about 50% per page.
Kodak printers will be able to print a 4×6′ photo for as little as $.10 a piece, rather than the current price of $.29.
Kodak’s printers will also use different technology, “Kodak’s printers incorporate innovative nanotechnology in the ink and print heads, squirting droplets that are only a few atoms in size from tiny nozzles….
Unlike most rivals, Kodak uses pigments rather than dyes in its ink, which makes prints more resistant to fading. Kodak was able to hold down the cost of its cartridges by keeping all of the electronics in the printer, unlike rivals who include some electronics in the cartridges.”
Ultimately, Kodak’s ability to capture the inkjet printer market will likely be crucial to the company’s future as film photography becomes a thing of the past. And hey, with cheaper ink, it could be good for you, too. —MEGHANN MARCO