Xerox Pits New Phaser 7400 Against HP

The Xerox Phaser 7400, a color printer from Xerox&s Office Products Group, Wilsonville, Ore., is aimed at small and midsize businesses. The unit, which prints at 36 ppm in color and 40 ppm in monochrome, carries a street price of $2,999. The model is slated to compete against HP&s Color LaserJet 4700dtn, which prints 31 ppm in color or monochrome and recently was carrying a price tag of $3,399.

The announcement reflects the harsh pricing environment in the printer market. Earlier this year, HP began an aggressive pricing strategy for its Imaging and Printing Group. Printer vendors such as Dell, Lexmark and Xerox also have turned up the competitive heat on pricing. The moves have generated an increasing chorus of criticism from solution providers, who are concerned about declining hardware margins.

“Price is sensitive,” said Joe Taylor Sr., president of Taylor Technology, a Feasterville, Pa.-based VAR and Xerox partner. “What the resellers are finding here is they are getting disgusted with the whole situation. You hope to get the business and make money on supplies.”

In terms of competing with HP, Xerox does a better job higher up in its product line, where quality is more critical, some solution providers said. Alan Lasdon, president of EPS Associates, a Levittown, Pa.-based Xerox reseller, said his company focuses on higher-end Xerox products. “We steer clear of things that are going to be price-sensitive,” Lasdon said, adding that higher-end Xerox Phaser products offer better quality, don&t rely on low prices to sell, and compete more favorably with HP&s offerings. “I think Xerox has a better machine for high-end graphics,” he said. Though the printing and imaging price wars have raged this year, companies such as Xerox and Lexmark have attempted to soften the blow on solution providers by providing additional programs, services and document consulting opportunities for the channel.

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On the multifunction system side, Xerox unveiled the CopyCentre 133, the WorkCentre 133 and the WorkCentre Pro 133. The CopyCentre 133 is a stand-alone digital copier priced at $5,148. The WorkCentre 133, with copy and print functionality plus an optional fax, costs $6,148, and the WorkCentre Pro 133 offers advanced multifunction capability at a price of $8,999, Xerox said.