Printers: Giving Konica A Look

For the past months I’ve been getting press releases from Konica Minolta pitching me on the latest announcements in their line of printers.
For some naive reason, my mind only focuses on HP, Lexmark, Xerox and Dell. I’ve been ignoring printers from other vendors – such as Konica.
For years, I’ve used a small Minolta (now Konica Minolta) in my home office (it was given to me by my Pastor some years ago) but other than that my focus has not been to give printer vendors, other than the ones mentioned above, the time of day.
However, in browsing the Konica web site I see that Konica has a solid suite of printers for small businesses.
Their press release reads – With the launch of the new generation of bizhub network printers, Konica Minolta offers a single comprehensive source to end-users for consumables, service and solutions. These new color laser printers in the bizhub product line complete Konica Minolta’s product offering by adding click-based printing to its full line of office solutions at a low total cost of ownership. The bizhub C30P series printers also offer the flexibility of fitting seamlessly within an MFP environment as part of mixed deployment. Building upon the successof the bizhub series, all network printers in this new model will continue to offer Konica Minolta’s advanced technology platform advantages.

The C30P line of printers prints 31 pages per minute in color and 37 PPM in black and white.
Konica has a long history. It’s a Japanese company and the first American subsidiary was established in 1956. In 1990 it released its first monochrome laser printer. In 2004, after years of producing cameras and other technologies Konica launched its first color Multi Function Printer. These past few years have been a steady launch of new printing technologies for big and small businesses.
According to an October 2005 Business Week article, its market share is negligible.
Dell’s share of the worldwide market for inkjet and laser printers was 5.8% in the first quarter of 2005 compared with 10.2% for Lexmark, according to market research firm IDC. But only a year ago, Dell’s share was 3.2% to Lexmark’s 12.1%. HP still leads the market with more than 40%, followed by Epson and Canon (CAJ ), each accounting for about 14%.
If HP has 40%, Lexmark 10% and Dell 6% and 14% from Epson and Canon that doesn’t leave much for Konica and other printer vendors such as Sharp and Panasonic.
Next time you’re looking for a printer – ask about Konica. Maybe it’s time you gave it a first or second look.