By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
The emergence of the inkjet-based multifunction printer (MFP) as the new core product of the consumer printing market did not impede Hewlett-Packard's ability to dominate this burgeoning category.
The company dominated the multifunction segment during the period of May 2004 to June 2005 in the same fashion it has controlled stand-alone inkjet and laser printing. Not only did HP produce the best-selling model during this period, the PSC 1315, its other multifunction models filled in 70 percent of the top 10 selling MFPs, according to The NPD Group, Port Washington, N.Y. Lexmark did place two units on the list and Epson one, but the remainder all came from the Palo Alto, Calif.-based HP.
The PSC 1315 was originally introduced on June 2, 2004, with a rock-bottom $129 suggested retail price. This was the lowest entry-level price point that the company had hit for a MFP. The units are still available at a variety of retailers for around $99, although they have officially been replaced by the PSC 1350. Overall, HP continued its dominance in the printer category by controlling the multifunction segment.
The 1315 specifications featured print resolution of 1,200dpi for black and 4,800 by 1,200 for color, a text print speed of 17 pages per minute (ppm) and 12 ppm for color. Copier speeds were identical to print speeds and the unit's 36-bit scan resolution is 600 dpi with a typical scan taking about 28 seconds.
HP's primary goal with the 1315 was to bring MFP capability to the masses. With its low price point and small desktop footprint, the company said it was the perfect fit for any home or home office. In addition, the company added several consumer-centric features to make it even more appealing. These included a variety of photo printing options such as PictBridge technology, 4 by 6-inch photo printing, and HP's proprietary Image Zone and Instant Share photo software.
“Consumers looking for an entry-level all-in-one for use in the home for personal use will find that the HP PSC 1315 All-in-One offers convenient easy-to-use printing, scanning and copying,” said a company spokesman.
The MFP category has grown from having a single-digit share of the market to now outselling stand-alone printers, said Ross Rubin, an analyst with NPD.
“For the 12 months, ending June 2005, multifunction printer sales were 51 percent of all inkjets,” he said.
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