Early this year, consumers were surprised and dismayed upon hearing that the big OEM printer companies had set the prices of their products. According to reports, it was because the OEM industry’s profit was decreasing in the recent years and increasing the prices of their printer consumables is the first solution they have seen to solve the problem. And although many doubted the probity beyond the news, the premonition did became true and was witnessed by many when big companies announced their plans to cut jobs next year.
But what shocked the whole printing industry was when Lexmark announced and stopped the production of their inkjet printer line in what they called as a “restructuring attempt” and will close an inkjet supplies manufacturing facility in the Philippines by the end of 2015. This decision led for the company to save $85 million annually, rising to $95 million by 2015 and as a result of eliminating inkjet development worldwide and cutting 1,700 jobs in the printer manufacturing process. According to IBM, Lexmark’s main customers for keyboards, they believed that with the present technology “the concept of ‘paperless office’ was expected to become reality soon” that they could no longer see any future for a profitable printer business. But whether that may come true or not, Lexmark intends to focus their attention to manufacturing laser printers and their printer supplies, saying they see it more profitable than inkjet printers.
Another major printing company that made its exit in the inkjet printing industry was the Eastman Kodak Company, most commonly known as Kodak. The rumors of its downfall started in early 2007 when it was reported that their sale was decreasing resulting to them selling their Kodak Health Group to Onex Corporation. This was followed in 2009 when Kodak announced their $137 million fourth-quarter loss that led to their plan of cutting up to 4,500 jobs. But it was in this year, that Kodak filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Protection, sold their Image Sensor Solutions (ISS) division to Truesense Imaging Inc. and announced that it would exit the digital image capture business, that truly put the mark that the company was surely on its way for bankruptcy.
In August 2012, Kodak also declared to sell its film, commercial scanner and kiosk divisions and cut another 1,000 jobs by the end of 2012. All the devastating news then lead to their final decision of exiting the inkjet printer business as well but will still sell Kodak inks for their printers. Fortunately though, in the press release they have published in their official site, it was confirmed that they have accepted the $830 million offer of Steering Committee for interim to improve the company’s financial status. And we could only hope this will be of big help to redeem the company’s loss thorough the past years.
With Kodak and Lexmark sharing the same dreadful fate in the inkjet printing business, may 2013 be a profitable year to other major printing companies and printer supplies manufacturers in the industry.