Hewlett-Packard is offering 10 new printers that allow consumers and business users to print from the Web and from mobile devices and is partnering with Yahoo and Apple.
is looking to reinvigorate its line of printers by rolling out 10 new devices
that allow users to print documents from the Web or their smartphones. HP is
also partnering with Apple and Yahoo to provide new functionality for the
company's printer line.
At a Sept. 20 event here, Vyomesh Joshi, executive vice president of
HP's Imaging and Printing Group, introduced 10 new printers, which include new
additions to the company's Photosmart, Officejet, LaserJet and Designjet lines.
Each year, Joshi said, about 200 billion pages of analog content are converted
to digital. In addition, about 85 percent of smartphone owners now want to
print from their devices, he said.
"You have all this content and you want to share and print this content
and you want to be able to print it anywhere at any time," Joshi said.
This explosion of content and the desire to access content from anywhere
drove HP to offer business users and consumers more functionality in printers,
he said. This trend is essentially turning what had been stand-alone machines
into multifunction devices that are hooked into the Web and work more like a PC
or smart mobile device than a traditional printer.
In addition, these types of printers allow HP
to bring elements of cloud computing
to one of the company's more lucrative
businesses. On Aug. 19, HP
reported that its Imaging and Printing Group's revenue
for the third fiscal
quarter of 2010 increased 9 percent year over year to $6.2 billion.
This type of Web-based printing technology and focus on the cloud also paves
the way for HP to offer IT and managed services to larger enterprise customers,
since the company can not only manage the data inside the data center but print
and publish the data as well. In addition, in this field HP
is beginning to face competition from the likes of Xerox.
While the event focused on HP's four main printer customers types-consumers,
small businesses, the enterprise, and graphics and publishing-the company's
innovation on its line of printers for the home stood out.
For example, HP rolled out its HP Photosmart eStation All-in-One printer
that includes Web capabilities and access to a number of different Yahoo apps,
including Yahoo Mail, Yahoo Search and Yahoo Messenger. After the show it was
reported that the machine has a tabletlike feature that runs a version of
operating system. HP has also worked on creating a larger
display, and this eStation printer comes with a 7-inch screen compared with the
original 4.3-inch screen.
HP is also working with a number of airlines, Delta Air Lines being the
first, to include applications that allow quick and easy printing of boarding
The HP Photosmart eStation will be for sale later in 2010 for $399.
However, what should have been the biggest announcement at the event
actually came out the previous week, when Apple released the beta version of
its iOS 4.2, which allows iPad and iPhone users to print from their devices. HP
and Apple worked together to create this new type of wireless printing
One interesting feature of Apple's AirPrinting is that it does not require drivers,
so users do not have to download the latest driver in order to print. In
addition, Apple has opened up the API to
developers to allow them to build print functionality into their applications.
While the partnerships with Apple and Yahoo are noteworthy, HP has been
experimenting with cloud-based printing technology for some time. Earlier in
2010, HP announced an agreement with Research In
Motion to allow BlackBerry users to print documents to designated HP
These types of Web-based printers are only the beginning, and soon HP plans
to build machines that use WebOS, which HP inherited when it acquired Palm
earlier in 2010. While HP executives hinted about these devices, they declined
to comment on any specifics.
For small and midsize businesses, HP is also offering a number of these new
Web-enabled printers, several of which include access to Google Docs, allowing
business owners to print documents straight from the machine instead of the PC.
In addition, HP
is working with QuickBooks maker Intuit
to allow users to scan documents
into an all-in-one machine and upload the information to the Internet without
using a PC.
These various HP all-in-one machines and other printers for SMBs cost
between $99 and $499.
For enterprises, HP is offering a number of new services for large
businesses with much bigger printing costs. In addition to the earlier
BlackBerry service, there are new security services, including one that scrubs
all the data off the new Web-based printers when companies choose to discard
them. HP is also working to make the user interface of all these Web printers
the same for enterprises.
Finally, HP is addressing the needs of very specific customers, including
graphic designers, architects and engineers. At the event, HP showed off the
massive Designjet T2300 eMultifunction Printer, a Web-based machine that allows
architects to scan and e-mail designs across the Web without having to convert
the plans into PDF files.