Samsung Beefs Up Printer Lineup

Samsung's Irvine, Calif.-based IT products division said the ML-3560 monochrome printer series, slated to ship this summer, will include models that connect to networks via Ethernet or Wi-Fi and have a 35-ppm output capacity plus a longer duty cycle. Executives said pricing for the ML-3560 lineup starts at $599 for a base model and goes up to $899 for the ML-3562W wireless networking model.

Also this summer, Samsung plans to ship the new SCX-4521F multifunction device, which has monochrome print, copy, color scanning and fax capabilities, as well as the entry-level ML-2010 monochrome laser printer, which outputs at 22 ppm and carries a street price of $149.99. Pricing information wasn't available for the SCX-4521F.

Samsung also shipped two new photo printers, the SPP 2020 and the SPP 2040, that can print digital photos with or without a PC. The SPP 2020 has a street price of $149, and the SPP 2040, which features additional memory, runs at $199.

Tony Venice, senior solutions marketing manager for Samsung's Solutions Marketing Group, said the ML-3560 monochrome series will enable the company to reach into the higher end of the printer market. The world's second-largest manufacturer of laser printer engines, Samsung is barely two years into a renewed U.S. commercial printer business but made clear with its latest product launch that it is staking out more ground in the monochrome printing space. This comes as many of its rivals, including Xerox, Lexmark and Oki Data, have focused more resources and attention on the smaller but growing color-laser market.

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"We're tackling this from both sides of the spectrum," Venice said, adding that later this year Samsung plans to unveil a tandem color-laser printer and a multipass color printer for the lower end of the market. "We think there's a lot of opportunity for growth in the color side," while at the same time continuing to grow Samsung's presence in the more mature monochrome space, he said.

Samsung, too, is banking on new financial incentives to the channel to help it grow its printer sales and market share. This month, the company will pay back-end rebates of up to 15 percent to its printer solution providers, and the rebate may be extended through the end of 2005, Venice said.

The new Samsung printers come amid intensifying competition in the workgroup document technology space. For instance, Dell is driving aggressive price competition, and Hewlett-Packard this week said it plans to separate its printing and imaging unit from its PC division in an attempt to give its printer business a boost.