Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Memjet business in HP's backyard

Today's Idaho Statesman features a page-one feature story by Ken Dey on Memjet, and the Memjet Home and Office business headquartered in Eagle, ID. As the hometown paper for a large portion of HP's (NYSE HPQ) Imaging and Printing Group, the Statesman goes beyond the usual coverage of the Silverbrook technology possibilities that we've grown accustomed to seeing, and also pursues potential partners and the likelihood that HP might possibly become a Memjet partner.

Comments from Memjet execs Bill McGlynn and Kim Beswick are included, as are those from Steve Hoffenberg of Lyra Research. And Glen Hopkins of HP, who first surfaced in the press in the Business Week piece I covered several weeks back in "HP, Memjet -- Words Heating Up", is back with more disparaging comments.

Per the article, HP is not impressed:

"It's not a breakthrough technology," said Glen Hopkins, HP's vice president for research and development for inkjet printers...

...Hopkins said the Edgeline is for serious businesses that need both speed and quality. He says the Memjet product sacrifices quality to keep the price low. "They're coming at it from a different angle and are assuming people want really fast speed but don't care that much about image quality and product robustness," he said. "They're making trade-offs that we have not made in the past and don't anticipate making in the future."

Not so, says Kim Beswick, Memjet's vice president of marketing. Beswick said the company is achieving high quality and speed.

Beswick said Memjet has no plans to compete with HP's Edgeline products, but sees a niche for its technology with small and medium businesses and consumers who want speed and economy.

Hoffenberg said HP is wrong to dismiss Memjet so quickly.

As far as those other partners? Dey comes up with a list (Dell, Sony and Kodak) that he admits McGlynn won't comment on, but later goes on:

The company hasn't reached a deal with a printer manufacturer yet but is talking with well- known electronics companies not yet in the printer business, McGlynn said.

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