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HP Shifts Emphasis To Web Printing

The goal for Hewlett-Packard’s imaging and printing group is shifting from printers to printing.

HP is referring to this as its Print 2.0 strategy, and going forward the company will focus an increasing amount of energy on boosting the number of prints that roll out of its products instead of the hardware itself.

“We are not going to track printers shipped, but pages printed,” said Vyomesh Joshi, executive VP, imaging and printing group.

The entire strategy is being supported by an all inclusive $300 million marketing campaign. Unlike HP’s past marketing ventures, this one will not target specific segments of its customer base — such as consumers, graphics professionals or small business — but will instead go after all these groups at once.

Joshi explained the need for his company to undergo this paradigm shift.

“HP has something like a 45 percent hardware market share, but when we look at pages printed it is only 2 percent,” he said.

About 49 trillion pages were printed in 2006, Joshi said, with this number rising to 53 trillion by 2010 with about 10 percent of those being done in a totally digital environment, and that is HP’s target.

Since 48 percent of all printing is now done over the Internet, HP will utilize the Internet and alter its approach to allow people to print from anywhere and with or without a PC.

“What the iPod and iTunes have done for music, we can do that for print,” Joshi said.

To accomplish this, HP rolled out several new services. This includes HP Print It buttons that will appear on Web sites, giving users direct access to printing; a relationship with Yahoo! for printing and creating imaging projects; and deals with Microsoft and Flickr to provide printing services.

HP will also supply 181 stores in the Meijer chain with a total digital printing suite including all the back-office support necessary. Joshio hopes additional retailers will sign up for similar programs.

Despite the overwhelming attention paid to the Web, HP also rolled out 10 new consumer products. These include three dedicated photo printers, the A826 home photo center, A626 compact photo printer and A526 compact photo printer. The first two models will sell for $249 and $179, respectively, and feature 7-inch and 4.8-inch LCDs so the consumer can print directly from the printer. The entry-level A526 carries a $99 price tag. All three will ship this month.

The Photosmart D5360, $99, can print directly onto optical discs.

Also hitting stores in this month are four all-in-one models: the Photosmart C8180, C4385, C6280 and the C7280. Prices range from $139 to $399 and all will be available in September.

The final piece is the Deskjet 6988 series. The 6988 has built-in wireless networking, while the 6988dt adds two-sided printing and 250-sheet paper tray. Prices are $129 and $179, respectively, and they will be on store shelves in September.