The pen division of Newell Rubbermaid expects to offer an inkjet cartridge line that will be compatible with a number of Hewlett-Packard, Epson and Canon printers. The cartridges, which will retail from $6.50 to $30 each, are expected to begin shipping nationwide next month. Cartridges from market leader HP range from $17 to $35 each.
"We know this will shake up the inkjet market," said Rory Leyden, president of Sanford, which makes Paper Mate products. "Consumers want a reasonably priced and reliable alternative to expensive inkjet cartridges. That's exactly what they will get from Paper Mate cartridges."
The ink market has been divided between the printer makers and lesser-known white label brands. More recently, though, other brand names have tried to enter the ink business, including retailers and other companies that are known for their color such as Pantone.
Paper Mate is working with Legacy Manufacturing to produce the cartridges. They will be sold in consumer electronics, grocery, office supply and drug stores, as well as through mass merchandisers.
License to print money
Paper Mate's entry into the $15 billion inkjet cartridge market follows similar moves by other technology industry titans.
Last year, for example,to offer printers, and this fall they to include portable photo printers. Over the past 19 months, the computer maker has launched nearly 20 printer models in roughly 60 countries.
Dell expects to generate about $1 billion in printer revenue in its first full year of playing in that market.
HP is looking to protect its position in the printing space--which spans the gamut of business to consumer printers and products. Last August,for printing digital camera photos.
HP's imaging and printing group contributes the bulk of the company's overall profits, with much of that money coming from ink- and paper-related sales, analysts have noted.