Aug 8, 2016
On August 2-4th, Epson showcased their latest innovations in creativity and design, photography and graphics, business productivity, mobile printing, big-screen home entertainment and wearable technology. The three day event was held in New York City and highlighted new products within their business, gallery and industry and home lifestyle sectors.
New Wide-Format EcoTank All-in-One Printers
During the event Epson announced two new models based on their revolutionary EcoTank technology, the all new WorkForce ET-16500 wide-format and the Expression ET-3600 All-in-One Printers. The new printers deliver cartridge-free printing with easy to fill supersized ink tanks and up to two years of ink in the box. InfoTrends wrote extensively about the new EcoTank engines when they first were introduced http://www.infotrends.com/content/CDP/CDPNA/Insight/2015/08/15inNEE0820.pdf
The Workforce ET-16500 is the first PrecisionCore® engine to offer wide format in the SuperTank category with in-box ink yields of up to 10,500 black and 11,000 color pages. According to Epson, it can print up to 13 x 19 paper size and copy and scan up to 11 x 17. Plus, the new wide-format printer has a 500 sheet paper capacity and a specialty paper feed tray. In addition to the new paper handling features, the unit ships with a 4.3” user-friendly color touchscreen. Similar to the previous models both engines are equipped with built-in, easy-to-use wireless and Wi-Fi Direct capabilities so users can print directly from tablets and smartphones across a range of operating systems, as well as through Epson Connect™ solutions (Epson’s cloud print and scan service).
Epson WorkForce ET-16500
According to Nils Madden, marketing director, Desktop Imaging and Printing at Epson, “The all new ET-16500 and ET-3600 not only expand the Epson portfolio of Supertank printers, but serve as proof points for the success of this category in the North American printer market, underscoring Epson’s commitment to delivering printing solutions that meet a range of customer needs.” Epson believes the EcoTank line solves one of the biggest pain points with customers which are running out of ink. Compared with traditional inkjet devices, the EcoTank printers are equivalent to about 50 ink cartridge sets or up to 11,000pgs. Furthermore, the real cost savings is within the total cost of ownership. While consumers have to purchase more upfront than comparable inkjet printers in their class, the price of consumables over time more than outweighs the upfront costs.
Epson has maintained that these products have been well received in emerging markets with significant market share gains. These products have also had success in North America. According to InfoTrends 2015 Placements & Market Share Forecast, Epson’s business inkjet shipments grew 7.9% year-over-year and held the number 2 market share position overall within this segment.
Pricing and Availability
The ET-3600 is targeted at small office/home office market while the ET-16500 is designed for the SMB market as well as graphic professionals. The ET-3600 has a suggested retail price of $399, while the ET-16500 retails for $1,999. Product availability is scheduled for mid-September 2016 through major computer, office and electronic superstores.
In the last several years InfoTrends has seen a steady stream of innovation within the inkjet market from page-wide technology from Memjet and HP, to a new breed of robust business class inkjets printers from HP, Canon, Brother and Epson. These latest announcements from Epson further solidify their commitment to the EcoTank strategy worldwide. Earlier this year Epson announced several new black only inkjet all-in-ones designed for the workgroup, to further emphasize their competitive push into the entry level laser market.
Epson’s biggest competitor, HP, has opted for a three-tiered ink replacement program with Instant Ink. Their strategy has the consumer paying only what they print rather than Epson’s higher up-front commitment with built-in savings coming later. Ultimately, it will be the consumer who will make the final decisions on what best fits their printing needs.
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