Kodak To Cut Printer Ink Prices by 50%

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

Kodak Revolutionizes the Inkjet Industry (Press Release) [Kodak]

Kodak’s Strategy For First Printer –Cheaper Cartridges


Edit Your Comment

  1. echy says:

    When my printer runs out of ink I usually buy a new printer. It’s cheaper then buying the ink.

  2. viriiman says:

    From my own experiences with Kodak, their printers have always “felt” a little cheaper then the competitions. However, if they are successful in reducing the cost of their inks, I’d switch over in a heartbeat.

    My only question (that I couldn’t find the answer to by skimming the kodak site) is do they use individual “tanks” for each color, or is it like HP’s tricolor cartridge?

  3. shoegazer says:

    I like it. If this approach turns out to be successful it will also reduce the market in secondhand refills and fake printer cartridges, which are almost always utter crap.

  4. WindowSeat says:

    I’d be happy to have a printer that outlasted the ink cartridges. I have two Epsons down as we speak and I REALLY don’t feel like dealing with them on the phone.

  5. georget99 says:

    The hardware and cheaper ink is a draw, but Kodak’s software such as EasyShare, leaves a lot to be desired.

    I abandoned HP for Canon, mostly because their software seemed to infiltrate every corner of my computer. One wonders when a printer driver is a 200 Megabyte download.

    From what I’ve seen of Kodak software, I expect the same problems.

  6. KenyG says:

    I got so sick of ink prices I finally broke down and bought a very nice brother networkable laser printer. Came with a toner cartridge good for 3500 pages. Yea, it only prints in black… so what.

  7. Disclosure: I use to work for HP and still love the company.

    HP has individual ink tanks as well. Look up the 02 series of Ink. For my money, I’m sticking with HP. Kodak has a lot of fading issues and HP holds way more patents on their ink.

    The new 02 series ink cartridges also rely on a vacuum seal system that sucks ink off the print head so it doesn’t clog as much as Epson and other single cartridge competitors.

  8. br549 says:

    I’ve already got such affordability from Canon. Their ink is only a little cheaper, but it lasts a lot longer. And more important for an infrequent user like me, it doesn’t clog up if you don’t use it for a month, so you don’t waste all your ink in declog cycles. Canon’s cost per page is half that of other companies. Additionally, the fact that they don’t clog up means Canon can spend more on the printhead, because you’re not going to be replacing it all the time (HPs used to come with a printhead on each cartridge). This means you can have a better printhead without increase in printer cost.

    And I don’t get the “Kodak is cheaper because they use pigments” thing. First of all, pigments cost more than dyes in general. Second “Unlike most rivals, Kodak uses pigments rather than dyes in its ink” makes no sense since HP, Epson and Lexmark all use pigments. Only Canon uses dyes.

    I short, I don’t get it here.

  9. Inkpot says:

    While buying a new printer when it runs out of ink is cheaper than buying new ink cartridges, the damage you’re doing to the environment far outweighs the few dollars you’re saving.

    If Kodak is going to make us pay more for the printer and less for the ink, then I’m all for it. Ink prices are ridiculously expensive. Ounce for ounce, printer ink is more costly than *GOLD*. I’m willing to give Kodak a shot, at least.


  10. PrinceTuesday says:

    One more thing… The new Kodak ink jets are 1200×1200 dpi only. There is no choosing a lower resolution (for text only documents, web printing, etc). Most ink jets allow for 600×600 dpi printing. Lower resolution = less ink. Higher resolution = more ink. The user will end up using more ink with this device, therefore buying more ink cartridges, therefore not actually saving that much money.

  11. LatherRinseRepeat says:

    I’m about ready to buy a laser printer. I mostly do black and white document printing anyways. Samsung has some very affordable entry level units that are less than $100 after rebates.

    As for ink jets.. I have always used Canon and I only recommend Canon. They’ve been using individual ink tanks for the longest time now. The print quality is excellent. The ink carts are easy to find and are decently priced. The print software is decent. And the printer itself is durable. I’ve had my i850 for some time now, and no problems.

    HP is ok. Their print quality is average. But it’s really unusual that you can’t download the printer driver separately from the print software. It’s all bundled up on a 50MB+ file. Not very cool for some of those dial-up users out there.

  12. pmm says:

    I once worked for HP, and I no longer recommend their printers – mainly because of ink cost. With each new line of printers, the price of ink stays relatively the same, yet less and less ink gets put in the cartridges. Now I recommend Canon and Epson to friends and family. I hope Kodak gives all the major printer manufacturers a run for their money- customers deserve fair prices.

  13. thrillhouse says:

    I think that ading some competition is a good thing. but for home printing, I’m really ready for the next thing (ie. not ink). I really don’t want to buy another inkjet and would prefer an affordable laser or wax based set-up. i thnk that due to the ink-based business model, the quality, features, usability, and software of these products have just gone to shit. Just now are inkjets becoming network-ready. Software sucks ass for the most part (90% of which is geared toward getting you to buy more ink). Xerox’s phaser (wax based) printers produce awesome prints. I really have high hopes to see that consumerized, but they’ll probably screw it up.

  14. factotum says:

    I, too, use Canon after putting up for years with HP’s. One thing about the Canon is that it has never jammed, like my Deskjets did and Canon actually asks me about my printer every 3 months to find out if I’m having any problems or have any suggestions.

    One thing I don’t like is the Canon ink level monitor has been telling me one of my tanks is almost empty, yet I’ve been able to print using that color many, many pages.

    I get the ink on Amazon: no tax and free shipping. That’s a lot better than going to BB.

  15. Sudonum says:

    Thrillhouse, I bought a Phasar 8400 a couple years ago,and the print quality is awesome. However, the cost of the wax based ink is a different story. I haven’t done a cost-per-page comparison, However I can tell you that I buy ink 2-3 times a year from Xerox and each order is over $300. As a comparison I probably didn’t spend half of that amount for ink for my old Canon multi-function. I have tried 3rd party inks such as Concord, but the color isn’t as good and I always seem to have problems with print quality so I wind up using the cleaning mode more often, which also burns up ink. But like I said, the quality of both the machine and the output is Fantastic.

    Because of the ink costs, and to add a FAX and scanner, I purchased a Dell 1600n shortly after aquiring the Xerox. This is a monochrome laser multi-function. Do not purchase this printer, ever. Do not accept this printer even as a gift from someone. This printer is the biggest POS that Dell has ever put their name on, and that is probably saying something.

  16. wtmesq says:

    This seems like it could be a gimmick to differintiate themselves yet offer no better value. More expensive printer more prone to failure…but you’ll save a bundle on the ink.

    Ink refill kits have saved me hundreds of $$$$!!! Sams club online.

  17. Dell printers = Lexmark.

  18. Grrrrrrr, now with two buns made of bacon. says:

    Replacement ink cartridges for ink-jet printers has to be one of the all-time scams of the century. (Perhaps Kodak has developed a way to make blue without putting Smurfs through a juice-o-matic)

    It’s the only other business besides the pharmaceutical industry where you can sell 10 cents worth of ingredients for $39.00.

  19. r3m0t says:

    echy: “When my printer runs out of ink I usually buy a new printer. It’s cheaper then buying the ink.”

    Often the included ink cartridges will not have as much ink as cartridges which are seperately bought.

  20. Legodude522 says:

    Kodak just added a new loyal customer.

  21. SexCpotatoes says:

    You guys are using ink? That’s so last century, BLOOD is where it’s all at now!

  22. PrinceTuesday says:

    In my last post in these comments, I noted that the EasyShares have a 1200×1200 dpi, and therefore, use more ink. That is the dpi of the scanner, which has nothing to do with ink. Kodak has not announced what the dpi of the printer is.