Vendors Roll Out New Multifunction Devices

The Lake Success, N.Y.-based company is the latest of several top manufacturers to spring new multifunction imaging systems into the channel, in a hotly contested market over which the likes of Xerox, Hewlett-Packard, Lexmark, Ricoh, Sharp, Samsung and Oki Data have been battling. In particular, Canon is shipping new versions of its imageRunner devices—models 2230, 2830 and 3530—targeted at small businesses. The systems produce between 22 and 35 pages per minute and range in price from $3,800 to $7,200. Optional printer kits and fax boards are available for the MFPs, which also ship with Ethernet connectivity.

Canon executives said they are responding to growing opportunities for work process solutions across all market segments. The small-business segment, though, is one that lately has attracted the focus of several of the larger vendors to ship through the channel.

"The new [Canon] line is good for the smaller companies," said Bill Hanson, president of Reliable Office Systems, a Staten Island, N.Y.-based solution provider and Canon partner. The vendor has been weathering the heightened competition in the printer/MFP space well, he said. "They have 35 percent market share."

Earlier this year, Sharp, Mahwah, N.J., began rolling out new multifunction devices and a new channel program. Several other vendors, including Xerox, are expected to follow suit later this year.

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Jim Firestone, North American president of Xerox, said the Stamford, Conn.-based vendor will have a solid-ink MFP ready for market later in 2005.

In addition to the lower-end offerings for small business, Canon began shipping higher-end print-on-demand and production units of its imageRunner. Models 8070, 85+, 9070 and 105+ range in price from $28,000 to $50,000.