Xerox, Sharp and Fuji today announced the formation of the SoHo Printing Alliance whose primary task will be to take on inkjet printer market leader Hewlett-Packard starting in June when each company rolls out its first models.
The Alliance, 18 months in the making, will have Xerox and Sharp rolling out product in the United States with Fuji taking on Japan and the rest of Asia. The consortium claimed its upcoming printers will use next-generation inkjet technology that will enable the units to print 50% faster than current models while using 20% less ink. Pricing is expected to start at about the $100 level.
Rosemary Thomas, VP of Xerox's retail operations, said each company will market the co-developed printers under its own brand name and have independent advertising campaigns. The Alliance believes it will almost immediately grab a hefty chunk, possibly a double-digit share, of the inkjet printer market from HP, Canon, Epson and Lexmark. However, the primary target for all three is HP.
"HP is definitely in our sites. Whenever you come into a new market you always want to go after the big player," said Thomas, adding that a shakeout will take place among the companies now playing in the consumer inkjet printer category.
Thomas said the only way these three players could force their way into the tight printer market was to team up and combine their strengths.