The Lexington, Ky.-based Lexmark announced six inkjet printers--three of which are all-in-one models, two are photo-capable inkjets and one is a color printer--for the consumer market, as reported earlier by CNET News.com.
Company representatives did not return calls for comment.
In 2002, HP had a commanding lead in market share for all-in-one and inkjet printers with Lexmark as its closest competitor, according to data from research firm Gartner Dataquest. HP had 50 percent of the inkjet market and 52 percent of the flatbed all-in-one market in the United States, while Lexmark had 19 percent of the inkjet market and 36 percent of the flatbed all-in-one market.
The companies have been in a battle for the consumer printer market for five years. Lexmark has been chasing the computer giant ever since by coming out with slightly lower prices on similarly equipped printers or offering printers at the same price but with slightly better features, according to Gartner Dataquest analyst David Haueter. He said HP is often quick to respond with comparable offers to Lexmark's actions.
"Last year, Lexmark had new products and grabbed some share, but HP came back and took most of the share back," said Haueter. "HP has a stronger brand, so they can be priced a little higher than Lexmark and still get away with it, but Lexmark has some competitive products that are similar to HP units that have been available and proven to be popular."
Lexmark introduced three all-in-one printers, which combine print, scan, fax and copy capabilities. All-in-one printers are one of the fastest-growing segments in the printer business; while they have higher margins than inkjets, prices are falling quickly. Last year, shipments of all-in-one printers grew 172 percent over 2001, to about 4.4 million units, according to Gartner Dataquest. The research firm expects about 8 million units to ship by the end of this year.
The three all-in-one printers are the $249 X6170, the $199 X6150 and the $99 PrinTrio X1150 (which does not have fax capability).
The X6170 will print up to 4,800 by 1,200 dots per inch, and 19 black-and-white pages per minute or 15 color pages per minute. It will come with a document feeder. The X6150 will print up to 4,800 by 1,200 dpi and 19 black-and-white pages per minute or 15 color pages per minute. The PrinTrio will print up to 4,800 by 1,200 dpi and scan 48-bit color.
The X6170 is for the higher end of the market, which is new territory for Lexmark. The model is expected to result in strong sales, based on sales of similarly configured printers from rivals.
The forthcoming photo-capable inkjet printers are the $99 P707 Photo Jetprinter, the $79 Z705 Photo Jetprinter and the $49 Z605 Color Jetprinter.
The P707 will be able to print up to 4,800 by 1,200 dpi, 17 black-and-white pages per minute, borderless 6-color output and 4-inch by 6-inch photo images in about 60 seconds and comes with built-in memory slots for CompactFlash, Memory Stick, MultiMedia Card, Secure Digital, SmartMedia and IBM Microdrive.
The Z705 will be able to print up to 4,800 by 1,200 dpi, 17 black-and-white pages per minute, borderless 6-color output and 4-inch by 6-inch photo images in about 60 seconds. The Z605 will be able to print up to 4,800 by 1,200 dpi, 14 black-and-white pages per minute and 35mm photo-quality resolution.
The printers will be available soon through retailers Best Buy, Circuit City, Comp USA, Costco, Kmart, OfficeMax, Staples, Target and Wal-Mart.