Samsung Challenges HP in Printers
Nov 7, 2005
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Samsung Electronics is set to challenge the seemingly invincible leadership of Hewlett Packard (HP) in printers by strengthening its foothold in laser printers. Choi Gee-sung, president of the company, is in charge of the firm's digital media division, made the point during a session with global analysts. "We seek to raise our annual revenue from printers roughly five fold to 10 trillion won (approx. U.S. $9.58 billion) in 2010 by tapping into the laser printer market in a full-fledged manner. It may take less time to attain the goal," he said.

His remarks came just after Samsung revealed its plan to become one of the world's top three electronics outfits by. Samsung CEO Yun Jong-yong announced the ambitious 5-year scheme and handpicked a laser printer as one of its next-generation growth engines to help achieve the target.

Gee-sung was sure of Samsung's success in laser printers because the entity holds technical ability for the advanced printer products unlike the conventional inkjet printer.

"The Inkjet printer market has been tough to enter since a handful of players retain most of the intellectual property rights. That is the reason why we failed to carve out a big chunk of the global market in the past," Gee-sung said. "However, things will be different for laser printers as we also hold core technologies for the high-end machines. Other good news is that laser is replacing inkjet."

Currently, the size of the global printer market is about $100 billion and U.S.-based HP is explaining up to 30 percent of the supply on their dominance in the inkjet segment. Epson and Cannon follow HP and Samsung is a smaller player as a latecomer to the saturated printer market mainly contested by U.S. and Japanese makers.

Samsung looks to take on the bigger competitors in time with the industrial shift from inkjet to laser. Over the past several years, laser printers have become a mainstream product surpassing inkjet merchandises.

"We have fine chemistry technologies needed to make ink. Plus, we boast state-of-the-art mechatronics, a must-have for developing top-line laser printers," Gee-sung said. Mechatronics refers to an interdisciplinary engineering field combining mechanics, electronics and computing, which aims at enabling more economical and versatile systems. "Samsung has seamlessly developed technologies in camcord, DVD and VCR and all the fields are basically about mechatronics," Gee-sung noted.

He added the firm is channeling its research efforts and funds to the development of laser printers. "The investment will not bear fruit in the short run. In contrast it will chip away at our bottom line right now. But the point is not the present, but the future," he noted. (The Korea Times)

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