Xerox Ready To Rumble With HP In Color Printer Market


The Stamford, Conn.-based company unveiled a new lineup of Phaser and WorkCentre products, saying it was rolling out a "color-for-the-price of black and white" strategy that leverages its solid ink technology.

Xerox said it would ship the Phaser 8860 color printer and Phaser 8860 multi-function printer priced at $2,499 and $3,999, respectively. The company said the products and the solid ink supplies would make it compare favorably on a total cost of ownership and cost of output basis with HP's color Laserjet 4700dn printer. The Phaser 8860 ships now, the MFP version ships in November, Xerox said.

"If you've accepted color, and you want to print the same thing that's on your screen, we're allowing you to do that now and this should be your default printer," said David Bates, director of product marketing for Xerox' office group. "You no longer have to make a decision between monochrome and color.

"We've got a strong lineup, that lines up with the competition very well," Bates said.

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In explaining how it is bringing color printing into the same price ballpark and black and white, Xerox said that the cost of printing with black ink in its solid ink systems, on a yield of 14,000 pages, is $215 while each color stick in the Xerox solid ink lineup, which also yields 14,000 pages, is priced at $72. They compared that with the Laserjet 4700dn, which it said runs $178.99 for a back toner cartridge that covers 11,000 pages, and $253.99 for each color toner cartridge that runs 10,000 pages. The net result, Xerox claims, is that color printing on its systems is on par with the cost for black-and-white, and competitive with HP.

Rivals including Lexmark announced a similar initiative about two years ago, though the Lexington, Kentucky-based printer maker has suffered a number of setbacks in its business overall since then. Hewlett-Packard has continued to dominate the printer market, after announcing its own scalable print technology also about two years ago. However, Xerox executives from Chairman and CEO Anne Mulcahy on down have been vocal this year about their technology edge with solid ink and how it compares against traditional ink and toner manufactured by rivals. And the company is also in the midst of developing a deeper business in the North American solution provider channel with added support and incentives for VARs.

Xerox also announced new entry-level color WorkCentre workgroup printers, the WorkCentre 7232 and WorkCentre 7242, aimed at small and mid-sized businesses and integrated with Xerox' Extensible Interface Platform (EIP) which supports custom applications. Xerox says the 7200 line is aimed at the "color-cautious" segment of the market -- businesses that use color occasionally but focus primarily on black and white documents. The WorkCentre 7232, street-priced at $5,299, is available in January and the WorkCentre 7242, street-priced at $6299, is available in November, Xerox said.