Dec 20, 2013
It is fair to describe 2013 as the year of 3D printing. A range of technologies using additive manufacturing have been finding applications in short-run production, prototyping, manufacturing, and other applications for industries such as architecture, industrial design, automotive, aerospace, engineering, fashion, civil engineering, dental, and medical. What is particularly interesting now is that with this growth, the activity is not only in new product developments and acquisitions, but increasingly in technology and distribution partnerships, particularly with graphic arts vendors.
It is logical that graphic arts vendors are migrating to become more active in the 3D printing market space. In fact it’s more of an evolutionary development rather than a revolutionary one. Many of these companies have imaging technologies that are well suited to 3D printing. In addition, they have the sales, marketing, and service capabilities that are required to support the higher end 3D printing offerings. So it is natural that a series of business developments and announcements have made headlines in 2013 involving companies like Canon, Fuji Dimatix, HP, Konica Minolta, Ricoh, and Xerox.
Dec 18, 2013
In June, Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) announced their plan to initially roll out 32GB 4th-generation Apple iPads to every student in 47 campuses in a deal worth $30 million. The district has 640,000 students at 1,087 schools, so over the next few years the school board has committed to spend hundreds of millions of dollars with Apple. The district’s plan is to equip every student with a device by 2014. Apple is selling the iPads, preloaded with education software for $678 each with a three-year warranty. Retail price for the 32GB iPad is $599. The board unanimously voted on Apple because the iPad rated the best in quality, was the least expensive and received the highest scoring by the review panel (made up of students and teachers). Other devices that could have been considered include Chromebooks, which can be argued to offer more value for just $249 retail price, netbooks, and also Windows-based laptops, which are potentially more versatile than a tablet starting at $400 retail.
Dec 13, 2013
The lead up to the Holiday gift giving season is always a busy time as people start making out their gift giving lists or their own wish list for Santa. Being an analyst that tracks camera phones and digital cameras, this is also a busy time of year for me as I start getting emails, phone calls and text messages from friends asking me for camera buying advice. Since Thanksgiving I have already received many emails and texts from friends saying they need an opinion about what type of camera to buy.
I will admit I like being the one my friends and relatives turn to for an educated opinion about cameras. That role also carries some pressure with it, given the hundreds of camera models that can be found for sale from an online retailer or traditional brick and mortar stores. So as I prepare for the “what is the best camera to buy?” question I thought some of my ponderings would be helpful for others looking to answer the very same question.
Results of InfoTrends’Â Consumer Digital Interchangeable Lens CameraÂ multi-client study reveal that this is an exciting and also challenging time to be involved in the digital interchangeable lens camera (DILC) market. Rapid changes are still underway, and these are affecting consumer purchasing/usage behaviors, camera vendors’ product development strategies, and retailers’ selling strategies.
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Dec 12, 2013
I could have very well titled this “Industry Consolidation and the Ripple Effects” given the nature of the chess match being played out between two industry titans. Canon in one corner, looking to regain momentum (Canon’s loss of market share has been well documented with acquisitions ofÂ IKON Office Solutions to Ricoh – $1.62 billion, Global Imaging Solutions to Xerox – $1.5 billion and Danka to Konica Minolta – $240 million, couple this withÂ the mixed result of their CBS Direct Operations the impact is measurable and the desire to win it back is understandable) and in the other corner, Konica Minolta, the current King of the independent dealer community. Â Ask an independent dealer owner about what they like about partnering with Konica Minolta and why they have made such a surge in revenue and units, and the first answer is Rick Taylor and his leadership, what follows next from their mouths varies but it is typically like an evangelist giving testimony at a revival.
For those that do not know, Dex Imaging is one of the largest independent dealers in the United States with annual revenues approaching $150M (it’s probably safe to say will have superseded that mark by the close of 2013).Â Their plan is to reach $250 million in annual revenue by 2016 and they have 26 locations in Florida, Tennessee, Maryland, Alabama and Mississippi.Â They made two acquisitions in the Florida market, both announced in May of this year.Â In the May press release announcing the acquisitions, Dex Imaging called itself the single largest- and fastest-growing independent dealer of Konica Minolta and Kyocera document imaging equipment in the U.S.
Dex Imaging Acquisitions 2013
1. TonerType, LLC
2. U.S. Imaging Solutions
Dec 10, 2013
Konica Minolta Business Solutions U.S.A., Inc. today announced that it has acquired CopySource Inc., a business solutions dealership headquartered in Coral Springs, Fla., to increase Konica Minolta’s reach in the southeast Florida.
In addition to today’s announcement, Florida has been a hotbed of acquisitions in the past 24 months from OEMs, Independent Dealers and IT firms all positioning for growth.
InfoTrends Channel Strategy Service Data
InfoTrends has just released a major study on cloud computing in the production workflow market. In October and November 2013, InfoTrends surveyed over 600 print service providers (PSPs) in the U.S., Western Europe and Asia Pacific (incl. Japan). We also spoke with Digital Equipment & Workflow Vendors, Distributors, Cloud Services Providers, and Legal Experts to provide an in-depth understanding of how cloud computing is impacting the production workflow market.
The conclusions are not surprising: despite data security and bandwidth concerns, the cloud is rapidly gaining momentum. In the years to come, we can expect the share of subscription based solutions to grow quickly as vendors are moving more to software as a service (SaaS) but also PSPs are increasingly preferring an operational expense model rather than an upfront capital expense.
3D printing had to be one of the most talked about topics of 2013 and jetting technologies are the key behind many 3D printing implementations (though in this case they are jetting materials rather than inks). That being said, in my opinion 3D printing has reached what Gartner likes to call the ‘Peak of Inflated Expectations’ and others have described as ‘Irrational Exuberance.’ The way some people talk about 3D printing you’d think that before long you’ll be 3D printing your beer complete with the bottle (with a label on the outside and a cap on top).
HP announced a major OEM deal with Sharp Corporation for a new line of color and black & white light production printers that will be offered exclusively as part of HP managed print services contracts. The partnership with Sharp is based on the 900 series MFP and is HP’s first high-end workgroup/light production device. HP will initially roll out the products in North America, Western Europe, and Australia with other regions following later in the year as needed.
HP Color MFP S962dn