HP is the leading company (market share) for printers. However, it has a lot of competitors in its rear view mirror that it must constantly fight to keep ahead of.
Lexmark, Dell, Xerox are leading printer vendors. Canon, Konica, Panasonic) make printers and have varying degrees of market share as well.
Color printing is a hot market but will be “mature” soon as more and more small businesses latch on to “in-office” color printing. Color printing in the office, reduces money small businesses would pay to Kinkos or some other local printer.
So what’s next for HP? How can it continue to innovate? One thing its doing is to continue to expand its printing ecosystem beyond just printing documents on HP LaserJets. It’s recently announced a revolutionary technology to enable “cell phone printing” for mobile users.
The International Herald Tribute writes The service requires users to first “print” their documents to HP servers connected to the Internet. The system then assigns them a document code, and transmits that code to a cellphone, making it possible to retrieve and print the documents from any location.
Later, using the SMS message the service has sent to the user’s cellphone, it is possible to retrieve the documents by entering the user’s phone number and a document code on the Cloudprint site.
The documents can then be retrieved as a PDF, or portable document format, ready to be printed at a nearby printer.
For users who need to print documents and are mobile, HP makes this much, much easier. For those businesses who have their own online collaboration or other services/tools for empowering mobile workers (including printing) HP’s solution could serve as a backup.
Check out HP’s Cloud Print here.
Check out How Stuff Works article on mobile printing.
You might find this article on HP’s web print services interesting, which makes it easier to print from web sites.
If you just have to carry a printer with you, you can get very small ones that fit into a bag from Canon, HP, Pentax and other vendors. These printers are about 3lbs.
PS – I do recall some pretty nifty printing technologies a few years ago, but haven’t heard much about them. Like many technologies, I’m sure HP’s CloudPrint is based on technologies that have come to market (or stayed in a lab) before it.
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