2014 International CES by the Numbers

Ed Lee
 Jan 31, 2014
The International CES in Las Vegas, NV is considered the premier trade show in the consumer electronics (CE) industry. In 2009, the show suffered a dramatic drop in attendance because of the economic crisis in the U.S., but has been steadily climbing back. This year, the weather gods did not cooperate. Frigid weather conditions across the county resulted in massive flight delays and cancelations during the weekend leading up to the show. As a result, many people headed to the show did not make it. Therefore, attendance numbers were likely a bit lower than show organizer the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) predicted. The following looks at some of the important statistics that surround the CES trade show and examines the health of the show. Read more »

xpedx + Unisource – Will Bigger Be Better?

Jeff Hayes
 

International Paper (IP) and Unisource Worldwide (UWW) Holdings have announced a definitive agreement to merge their distribution businesses and form a newly created, publicly traded company that will be the largest paper distributor in North America.

This is a big deal. Two of the largest distributors of paper, board, and related supplies for the commercial printing and packaging industries are merging. It would be like Sysco and US Foods, UPS and Fedex, or Dunkin’ Donuts and Starbucks merging — OK, maybe not that big, but you get the idea.

The new xpedx/Unisource (unipedx? I hope not.) will have an unparalleled combination of product assortment, availability, logistics services, operational efficiencies, and, potentially, pricing power in the market. According to IP, the combined xpedx and Unisource business will have projected annual revenue in the range of $9 billion to $10 billion, and will have about 9,500 employees across more than 170 distribution centers in North America.

xpedx (blue) and Unisource (red) North American Locations

InfoTrends graphic from xpedx and Unisource data

Read more »

How do customers make purchase decisions?

Christine Dunne Dunne
 Jan 27, 2014

As part of InfoTrends’ research for clients, we have mapped the steps in the customer decision-making process. Typically, the customer journey includes six main steps: satisfied with current device, trigger event/need recognition, research and fact finding, evaluation of options, purchase, and usage experience.

Upon returning from my maternity leave a few weeks ago, I began wondering how I fit into this model. I received a multifunction printer (MFP) for Christmas that I had selected myself. As it turns out, my decision-making process aligns with the steps outlined above. I will discuss my experience below, followed by some questions print device vendors may like to consider. Read more »

Konica Minolta Solidifies Long-Term Relationship with MGI Group

Other Posts
 

This week, Konica Minolta announced that it will take a 10% minority shareholder position in MGI Group. This investment is valued at €13.7 million. Konica Minolta’s technologies in this area include office MFP devices, an upcoming B2 digital printer under its own brand, and a wide range of commercial and industrial printers for textiles, woods, and materials. According to Konica Minolta, the relationship with MGI is one step of many in a growth strategy that involves investing in technologies and companies that can advance its market penetration into digital printing. This alliance is also beneficial for the MGI Group, whose growth strategy is to expand its range of digital printing solutions for commercial printing environments into digital printing for industrial environments. The MGI Group already offers a wide range of products, including:

  • Digital color printers (e.g., the Meteor DP8700S XL)
  • Print enhancement tools (e.g., the JETvarnish 3D)
  • A variety of finishing products for card, punch, and envelope that are integrated with its printers
Figure 1: Meteor DP8700 XL

Figure 1: Meteor DP8700 XL

JETvarnish 3D

Figure 2: JETvarnish 3D

Read more »

Ricoh Acquisition of mindSHIFT – Launch Pad for Services and Sign of Acquisitions to Come

David Ramos
 Jan 24, 2014

Best Buy acquired mindShift in 2011 for $167 million. The strategy at the time was to use mindShift to break into cloud services and target more SMBs.  Best Buy was focused on developing a services business and the thought was that with the combination of mindSHIFT’s cloud, data center and professional services would allow the two companies capture a greater share of the $40 billion small and mid-sized business MSP market. Paul Chisholm, chairman and CEO of mindSHIFT at the time in 2011 stated of the acquisition by Best Buy, “We are very closely aligned with Best Buy in both corporate vision, and in our culture of integrity, customer value and results.”

That was then, this is now, and the current reality for Best Buy is to leverage an asset (mindSHIFT) and go back to doing what made them great and focus on their core.  Bottom line, this is a good/needed move for Best Buy after a disappointing 2013 that was capped off by a holiday price war with Amazon where it lost badly. Read more »

A Review of 2013 Corporate Greeting Cards

Jim Hamilton
 Jan 22, 2014

This is the fourth year that I’ve done a video blog review of all the corporate greeting cards I received during the holiday season. This year’s collection includes InfoTrends’ own corporate greeting card, which was printed this year at the Museum of Printing in North Andover, Massachusetts.

If you have an interesting greeting card you’d like to send me, my address is Jim Hamilton, 97 Libbey Industrial Parkway, Suite 300, Weymouth, Massachusetts 02189, USA

If you’d like to see the previous videos, here are the links:

See the link below for my 2013 rant on one of the most insincere holiday e-cards I’ve ever received: How Much Is ‘Free’ Worth?

EFI Fiery to Drive Landa Digital Presses

Other Posts
 

Big news from the EFI Connect show in Las Vegas: EFI and Landa have formed a strategic relationship to use Fiery technology as Digital Front-End/RIP for Landa’s digital presses; both for the continuous feed and cut-sheet devices. From the moment Landa showed its new presses for the first time at drupa 2012, there has always been much speculation about who Landa would choose as a DFE partner and what RIP technology would be suitable enough to drive digital presses that can run 12,000 B1 sheets per hour at 1200 DPI.

Guy Gecht and Benny Landa - who paid an unexpected visit - announcing a strategic partnership at EFI Connect 2014

Read more »

Looking Back on CES 2014

Alan Bullock
 Jan 21, 2014

The 2014 International CES has come and gone. Tens of thousands of geeks and those who write about geeky things (often indistinguishable, by the way) descended on Las Vegas earlier this month. Many of them persevered through travel delays caused by record cold and snow in the central and northeastern United States; an estimated few thousand more gave up after spending a day or two trying to make the trip. Those that made it saw a vast assortment of products, some of which will soon be available for sale, and others that will probably never again see the light of day. Read more »

2014: More Change for Camera Vendors

Other Posts
 

Last year InfoTrends talked much about change and asked “Are you prepared?” In 2014 the same holds true. We are in the midst of a transformation in the imaging market. From a camera perspective we have moved through digital photography which was mostly a film replacement phase, to connected cameras which is where we are today and now we are heading towards intelligent photography.

In an environment that is marked by uncertainty we, the imaging analysts at InfoTrends, are examining the trends that will shape the imaging market in 2014. We feel certain at least two of our trends for 2014 will come true: Read more »

Google Makes Strategic Move with New Acquisition

Allison Correia
 Jan 20, 2014

Last week Google announced their acquisition of the connected device company Nest Labs for $3.2 billion. Nest, creators of the internet-connected thermostats and smoke detectors, is focused on the concept of an “automated home”. This acquisition is an interesting move for Google, and strategic in the way of strengthening their presence in the growing world of automation, as well as blurring lines between consumer and business technology. Read more »

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