Fast, low-cost color office inkjet printing is finally here, but Memjet's deployment is initially limited to China, India and Taiwan. Enterprises may want to evaluate the company's potential for wider deployments before adopting the technology.
On 6 January, 2011, at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Memjet announced a series of partnerships it will use to commercialize its page-wide array office printing technology.
For more than three years, Memjet has been working on final development of its high-speed printing solution, based on its patented page-wide array, inkjet print head technology. Silverbrook Research, based in Sydney, has been the development company behind Memjet. This latest announcement follows a rollout of the technology in label printing solutions for the industrial printing market.
The office printing technology offers the following features:
A4 single-pass, page-wide array inkjet print head with 70,400 nozzles
1,600 by 1,600 dpi resolution
60 pages per minute, color and monochrome
A unit cost estimated at between $500 and $600 depending on brand, partner and market
Printing costs of five to six cents per color page and one to three cents per monochrome page
An embedded Web server for remote monitoring
Memjet's partners will market the single-function device to small and midsize businesses (SMBs) in key emerging countries. Memjet will supply components (page-wide array print heads, ink and software) to partners that will commercialize the final product. In this way, Memjet can remain a technology company concentrated on development rather than focus on sales and distributions to end users. Memjet will also provide technologies that allow brands to offer an authorized ink refill program, which will not only reduce the number of cartridges used and discarded but also provide partners with a choice of supplies to best meets customer’s needs. Memjet is not disclosing its manufacturing partner.
Rather than deploy a worldwide roll out, Memjet has opted to launch the product in the Asia/Pacific region, where growth opportunities in the printer market still abound. For example, in the first three quarters of 2010, China's printer and multifunction product (MFP) market grew 18% over the same period of 2009, while in the U.S., the MFP market grew 6% and in Japan, 0%. Memjet's partner in China will be Lenovo, which has had only page and serial dot matrix printers in its printer lineup. Considering the increasing demand for the fast color printing at lower cost, Lenovo's collaboration with Memjet will supplement its product offerings and give it a competitive edge. Memjet's other partners include WeP Peripherals in India, which will sell the printers under Managed Print Services (MPS). In Taiwan, Memjet has partnered with Kpowerscience, which specializes in government and healthcare verticals. Here, Memjet will offer a fanfold printer using a continuous feed mechanism.
Memjet expects that for the initial launch, partners will roll out the technology at about the same time. The company has also stated that it expects partners to roll out the technology in Europe and North America by the end of 2011.
End users: Evaluate Memjet's potential for wider deployment beyond the initial rollout to SMBs in the Asia/Pacific region, but do not hold off on purchasing new equipment.
Technology providers: Incorporate Memjet-based products into your competitive analysis scenarios, given the price performance of this initial offering; however, don’t expect significant competition in the near term.
"Magic Quadrant for MFPs and Printers" — Enterprises increasingly look at software, vertical solutions and service integration when making their office printer purchasing decisions. By Federico De Silva, Sharon McNee and Vishal Tripathi
"Forecast: Printers, Copiers and MFPs, Worldwide, 2008-2014, 4Q10 Update" — By 2014, the print market will have experienced a compound annual growth rate of 4.4%. By Federico De Silva and others
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