Xerox’s Impika to Compete with Fuji Xerox in Asia Pacific

Jim Hamilton
Dec 3, 2014

A recent announcement signals a change in the relationship between Xerox Corporation and Fuji Xerox. In the past they have not competed head to head in any market. Now they will. The battleground will be Asia Pacific and the product class is high-speed continuous-feed inkjet.

Xerox Corporation and Fuji Xerox have a long and fruitful collaboration around a range of products, most notably color and monochrome electrophotographic printers and multi-function peripherals. The companies, however, have diverged on their inkjet strategies, with Fuji Xerox currently selling the 1400 and 2800 while Xerox has its CiPress and Impika offerings.

Late in November Xerox Corporation announced that it would be selling its Impika inkjet systems through four distributors in Asia Pacific. Impika already had a minor presence in Asia Pacific prior to its acquisition by Xerox, but the bulk of its selling activity has been in Europe. So this is the first time, to our knowledge, that Xerox Corporation will actively compete against Fuji Xerox in any product category. The geographic lines have always been clear. Fuji Xerox handles Asia Pacific (except for India) and Xerox Corporation handles the rest of the world (including India). The latest Xerox Corporation announcement puts the two companies in competition in the high-speed inkjet space in Asia Pacific.

Here’s how Xerox put it (in response to an InfoTrends request for clarification):

“Fuji Xerox is a 52-year joint venture between Xerox and Fujifilm and represents the Xerox brand for document products and services in Asia. In the high speed, production inkjet market Fuji Xerox has introduced its own product line. We believe that the inkjet market is sufficiently large, particularly as it grows, to support Xerox and Fuji Xerox.”

It’s true. The growth of the high-speed production color inkjet market is staggering and there is a big global opportunity. That being said, Fuji Xerox was the 2013 market share leader in Asia Pacific and now it will have a new competitor in addition to companies like Canon-Océ, Ricoh InfoPrint, and HP.

The odd twist to this announcement is that it’s not necessarily a sign of discord between Xerox Corporation and Fuji Xerox. The companies’ inkjet strategies have not been synched up for a long time. The news that Xerox Corporation intends to compete against Fuji Xerox in this category is simply another example of this lack of alignment. It is entirely possible that the companies could fight it out for a while as competitors and then decide to kiss and make up (and align their inkjet strategies as they should have done long ago). There is a catalyst that could drive them to reconciliation: cut-sheet inkjet. Xerox Corporation has stated publicly that it is working on a cut-sheet inkjet design. It hasn’t set any timetable on such a development, but when it does come to fruition, it seems likely that Fuji Xerox would want to distribute such a product. And if that were to happen, then it might open the door for a more cooperative inkjet strategy in the not too distant future.

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