Hewlett-Packard (HP) has questioned the commitment of the latest contenders for its throne in the volume printer market following the entry of Dell and the re-entry of IBM.
Direct vendor Dell announced this month that its first printers were shipping into Europe, while IBM announced its re-entry into this market segment last month.
David Poskett, commercial sales director, Imaging and Printing Group at HP, was unperturbed by rivals' moves. "Our competitors come in and out of the market, but we are very consistent," he said.
"Customers and the channel have long memories and may question Dell's and IBM's commitment to the printer market."
Although IBM spun off its volume printer business, which became Lexmark, in the mid-90s, the vendor has maintained its presence in the high-end printing market for more than 40 years.
But Melanie Sturdy, sales executive at printer reseller CBC Computers, said she did not think the competition would harm HP.
"IBM is better known for its systems than its printers, and end-users may think it is spreading itself too thin. Also, both Dell and IBM lack brand recognition, which I think will help HP," she said.
"The increased competition could be good for the end-user if it forces HP to lower its prices to keep in line with IBM and Dell."
Tony Davis, managing director of reseller Elcom, said IBM and Dell's move was interesting.
However, he added: "It's a bit like badge engineering that happens in the motor trade. The Vauxhall Cavalier was the Opel Mantra in Germany, and so on."
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