HP: Printing just ain't what it used to be [video]

HP: Printing just ain't what it used to be [video]

Summary: Are companies such as Facebook cutting into HP's printer business with online photo-sharing tools? It appears so as consumers choose to upload over print.


ZDNet Senior Editor Sam Diaz shares his views on the recent news that Hewlett-Packard's printing and imaging reported a 20 percent decline in the third quarter of 2009. He says companies such as Facebook are cutting into HP's printer business with online photo-sharing tools.

Topics: Enterprise Software, Banking, Data Management, Hardware, Hewlett-Packard, Printers, Software

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  • Can you say Walgreens?

    I don't print photos. First of all ink is not like what it used to be. Most of the cartridges are smaller and print less. On some models you have the option of buying XL cartridges that prints double the amount.

    How ever this is not a good option. Your family drug store *Walgreens* is cheaper. I can get pictures on sell for 5-10 cents. This is much cheaper then buying photo paper and ink.

    I brought a HP laserjet 4000 on ebay 3 years ago for $115 does 10,000 pages before needed new toner. For photos I just click and send to Walgreens with in Picasa and next day I go pick them up. Most of the time no need to print.
  • Why do we print?

    I think the consumer market is slowly becoming more accustomed to digital-only representations of content, and this reflects a decrease in "the need to print". People read e-mails online, where just a few years ago, many people would print all of their e-mail either because they were uncomfortable reading online, or because they were concerned about accessing it later. As with the Facebook example, consumers are becoming more accustomed to keeping information in digital format for tasks that previously required a hard copy.

    Case in point: The digital picture frame is now at a consumer-friendly price point. I know many people who own MULTIPLE digital picture frames, and NEVER print a single photo. Additionally, I know people who burn all their content to CD / DVD and watch it on their television, rather than print it.

    So, when does it become necessary to print? The big answer that comes to mind is non-repudiation. Example: I print my tax returns each year. I don't HAVE to, but I have a physical representation that can be used for non-repudiation in the event that I get audited.

    Other reasons to print: I print coupons. I print receipts (some receipts). My kids print their homework. I print for ease of access, like a chart or table that I can glance at, rather than pull up a soft document (e.g. phone lists or price lists).

    So perhaps companies like HP, Kodak, and Canon that rely on printing and print-related services as a primary revenue stream should investigate alternate revenue streams around escrow and non-repudiation, as well as examine other print motivators for possible revenue opportunities.

    How about "homework.com", where the school signs up for an account, allowing students to work on homework assignments in class or at home, with embedded workflow for submission, grading, feedback, and even parent review. No more paper to carry back and forth. Let's go one step further, and partner with Amazon to provide digital books on line, and never have to carry a textbook home again.

    I think the concept of protecting a perceived revenue stream, clearly already being disrupted by emergent technologies, is frustrating at best and costly and wasteful at worst.


    - United States Postal System. WHY AM I PAYING 40 cents a stamp (or whatever -- I don't use stamps, and have not for 2 years now)? Strip down USPS and reinvent it as what it has become: Last mile service for UPS, FedEx, and DHL. RAISE the cost of bulk mail instead of providing a discount (net effect: less junnk mail = less work, green points for not killing trees), thereby pushing people to use e-mail for trivial communication. GET RID of weekly fliers! People who want them can get them at the local grocery store, while those of us who embrace the digital age can get them online FOR FREE without wasting paper.
  • Well duh!

    I hate to break it to HP, but we are in an economic downturn right now. Just about everybody is getting hit 20%. Stupid, just stupid.
  • because of ink maybe?

    With what we pay for ink from HP (and everyone else too, and the high number of defective and dried out cartridges, any thing is better than having to print. I have gone to online albums and sending cd'd to family instead of printing because of the super high cost of printing. Even documents, I pdf and send to the office to print on a laser printer now.

    If I ever find a good colour inkjet with reasonable consumeables, and ones that don't dry out after a week of not being used, I will buy it and tell all my friends to buy it.
  • RE: HP: Printing just ain't what it used to be [video]

    HP and many others have just been too greedy! Thinking that we would fall into the cheap printer expensive ink trap. Instead I, like many others have cut down on printing and have my cartridges refilled. On top of the high price I also notice that HP have reduced the capacity of some of their cartridges so that we will have to change them more often! Will they ever learn!