For more than a decade, the markets for color imaging hardware and supplies have been the hottest in the industry. Each year, all of the leading OEMs release a range of color devices and the population of these machines continues to grow. Unfortunately, while the installed base of color printers and MFPs is growing, the revenue opportunities these machines offer go almost exclusively to OEMs and their channel partners. Digital color printing has presented technical challenges and intellectual property risks that have acted as a barrier to entry for third-party supplies vendors and prevented them from participating in the color toner cartridge market. But Ninestar is changing all that!
Long recognized as the industry’s innovation leader, Ninestar recently deployed Smart Production equipment at its state-of-the-art manufacturing center in Zhuhai, China. The company is proud to announce that with its new Smart Production lines, Ninestar becomes the first manufacturer in the third-party supplies industry capable of producing color cartridges that truly rival the quality and performance of equivalent OEM products. Its advanced Smart Production lines employ the same high-tech systems used by hardware manufacturers so that Ninestar’s G&G-branded color cartridges deliver flawless color printing time after time with a near-zero failure rate.
Ninestar is world-renowned for its research-and-development resources. With hundreds of scientists, engineers, and technicians, the company’s extensive R&D team has brought to market myriad G&G-brand products that are completely free of any OEM IP. By investing in its advanced Smart Production equipment, Ninestar is now able to quickly release the latest color SKUs based on patent-free designs and ensure that Ninestar dealers are the first to market with reliable G&G color cartridges that achieve a level of performance previously available only in OEM cartridges.
The Color Opportunity
The popularity of color printing is well documented and hardware manufacturers release more color devices every year to meet the still-growing demand. Since the start of 2017, the leading OEMs, including Brother, Canon, Dell, HP, Konica Minolta, Kyocera, Lexmark, Oki, Ricoh, Samsung, and Xerox, have released over 100 new color printers and MFPs along with scores of new toner cartridges for these machines. Moreover, OEMs have consistently reported that color machines are among the strongest selling products in their portfolios and year after year revenues from color hardware and supplies enjoy robust growth.
Hardware manufacturers have targeted many of their newest machines at small- to medium-sized businesses because these so-called SMB enterprises do a lot of printing. Usually priced at under $1,000, a broad range of color laser machines are currently available that are well within the budgets of most SMBs. While the price of acquiring a color machine for a small office may be low, the costs associated with running these units are high.
Non-OEM supplies vendors have successfully taken share in the monochrome cartridge market, and OEMs know they cannot inflate the price of their monochrome cartridges too high without the risk of losing market share. That is not the case with color. Because third-party supplies vendors have struggled to penetrate the color toner cartridge market, OEMs have not had to compete with low-cost alternative third-party color consumables. As a result, printing with today’s latest color laser devices is an expensive proposition.
Let's take a look at just how expensive it is to print with some of these low-end units. Last year, HP released the Color LaserJet Pro MFP M180nw, which uses the HP 202A CMYK cartridges. The M180nw cost only $299 when it was launched, but to print a color page, it cost a whopping 23.6¢ and black-and-white printing cost 4.6¢ a page. Along with the M180nw, HP released the Color LaserJet Pro M254dw and the Color LaserJet Pro MFP M281fdw, which accommodate the higher-yield 202X CMYK cartridges. While these SKUs helped to lower the per-page costs of the M254dw and M281fdw, the machines are still expensive to operate. It costs 15.4¢ to print a color page with the 202X cartridges and 3.0¢ per page for black-and-white printing.
While HP's per-page costs are high, other OEMs also charge exorbitant prices to print with their low-end color machines. For example, pricing for Xerox’s Phaser 6510 family of machines starts as low as $299, however, printing a color page costs 20.3¢ and 3.8¢ for a black-and-white page. Canon lowered the cost per page rates on its low-end machines last year, but printing is still very expensive. The Color imageCLASS LBP612Cdw color laser print and MF632Cdw MFP were released priced at $279 and $349, respectively. The machines share the same Canon 045 standard-yield CMYK consumables and it costs 21.35¢ to print a color page and 4.50¢ for a black-only page. The price drops a little when using the 045 high-capacity cartridges but at 16.32¢ to print a color page and 3.21¢ for black-and-white printing, the operational costs are still very high.
The Ninestar Advantage
Lower operating costs will no doubt be attractive to printer and MFP owners as well as to office equipment dealers placing machines contractually. And rest assured that Ninestar is working hard to make sure the customer base is aware of the significant savings its latest cartridges offer. But cartridges manufactured on Smart Production lines provide so much more than just lower price tags. G&G-branded compatible color cartridges produced with Ninestar’s advanced manufacturing technology are the first non-OEM color cartridges that actually deliver the quality and performance that many believed could only be achieved by OEM-branded color toner cartridges.
Since the color printing revolution began over a decade ago, third-party supplies vendors have had to be content with only a tiny fraction of the market—if they had any color business at all. But that’s all changing! With its advanced Smart Production equipment and veteran R&D team, Ninestar once again breaks new ground in terms of quality and performance. As the industry’s leading innovator, Ninestar and its dealers have gained a competitive advantage with G&G compatible color cartridges that are guaranteed to start gaining share in the lucrative color consumables market.
To Be Continue...