HP Inks Multifunction Printer Deal With Konica

Expects to bring new products to market this year

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Hewlett-Packard, which has been facing mounting threats from Xerox, Lexmark and Kyocera Mita in the multifunction printer space, has cut a deal with Konica Minolta Holdings to jointly develop and produce MFPs that will ship later this year.

Neither company provided many details of the agreement, which comes just weeks before Xerox, Rochester, N.Y., prepares to ship its latest MFPs into the channel through general distribution. In addition, Lexington, Ky.-based Lexmark earlier this month announced a new, all-in-one product with aggressive pricing.

In a statement, George Mulhern, senior vice president of HP's Imaging and Printing Group, said his company would seek to leverage Tokyo-based Konica's strengths in the copier space.

"By combining Konica's robust copier engine expertise with HP's heritage of networking and manageability, we will bring to the market one sophisticated system that is completely integrated with current HP hardcopy office products," Mulhern said. "This agreement with Konica augments and complements HP's existing partnerships and will enable us to more rapidly expand our imaging and printing offerings."

HP is not the only company in this segment with another vendor as a technology partner. Lexmark last year agreed to manufacture printers for direct PC manufacturer Dell under the Dell brand.

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