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(Nikkei BP Group)

(No.1 High-Tech News Site in Japanese)

  • Seiko Epson Introduces Speedy Ink-Jet Printer in U.S., Europe
  • February 19, 1999 (TOKYO) — Seiko Epson Corp. launched the Stylus Color 900 high-speed ink-jet printer in the United States and Europe earlier this month, even before the Japanese market introduction.
    “The objective of the introductions in the U.S. and European markets is to gain a larger share in the North American market as well as to build a solid worldwide foundation for competing more effectively against Hewlett-Packard Co.,” said Toshio Kimura, a senior managing director of Seiko Epson. Kimura supervises the company’s printer business.

    The new ink-jet printer is priced at US$449. It features monochrome printing on normal paper and is designed to print at high-speed (12 sheets of A4-size paper per minute in monochrome, and 11.7 sheets per minute in color).

    As for Japan’s ink-jet printer market, Seiko Epson accounted for nearly 60 percent of the market in the fourth quarter of 1998. The company’s world market share ranked second, at 25 percent in the first half of 1998. It lags behind Hewlett-Packard, which has a global market share as high as 46 percent.

    Seiko Epson ranks first in some countries in Asia and Europe. However, in North America, HP enjoys market share that is nearly twice that of Seiko Epson, according to Kimura.

    In order to vault into first place, Seiko Epson is determined to narrow the sales gap in the North American market. Thus, it introduced a printer capable of operating at faster speeds than HP’s DeskJet 895Cxi model.

    The launch date of the Stylus Color 900 in Japan is yet to be decided in part due to brisk sales of the PM-770C, which has high-quality printing features.

    Related story: Sales of Ink-Jet Printers in Japan Hit Record High at Year-End

    (Nikkei Personal Computing)

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