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Dell, Lexmark Ink Printer Deal

Dell released the details on its entry into the printer market last week announcing it will partner with Lexmark to produce Dell branded inkjet and laser printers.

The two-phase deal will have Dell position Lexmark as its supplier of choice for non-Dell imaging products for sale during the 2002 holiday season. The agreement will allow Dell to directly sell Lexmark printers to its customers.

The second phase will have Lexmark and Dell cooperatively designing Dell-branded inkjet and laser printers and inkjet cartridges, which then will be manufactured by Lexmark for shipment during the first half of 2003. Lexmark had a similar deal with Compaq prior to that firm’s merger with Hewlett-Packard.

Neither company would discuss expected unit shipment levels nor divulge upcoming product specifications.

Dell CEO Michael Dell stated in August that the company was looking into entering the printer and handheld computer markets. No announcement on handheld devices was made.

Steve Baker, IT research director for NPDTechworld, Port Washington, N.Y., said at that time that the laser printer category is a natural fit for Dell because so much of its business is done with corporations.