Monday, December 08, 2008

Point/Counterpoint on consumer printing

I covered the Wired Gadget Blog's "Five Useless Gadgets" post from about a month ago, with "covered" in this case meaning barely more than a mention, and an admonition to please recycle. Writer Charlie Sorrel's November 3rd post took on printers, scanners, and fax machines, along with "built-in optical drives" (i.e. DVD burners and the like) and landline telephones as has-been devices ready for the junk pile. Overall I thought he made some good points but as I mentioned in my brief brief, he seemed to have tongue firmly (or loosely anyway) in cheek.

Now one of our leading printer industry blogs, the Databazaar Blog, takes on Charlie's arguments with a vengeance in a piece by Writer Kara Soos, "Ditch Your Printer Says Wired's Charlie Sorrel. We Say Ditch Sorrel's Silly Argument."

It's an interesting face-off, with the snarky gadget blogger up against the ink-and-toner-sponsored counterpart. Wisely Kara lets the Wired blog's comments do most of her arguing, and she has an advantage with the bulk of those seeming to go against the "useless" rant. However, there's a stretching of the point, especially around an implication (that I read in anyway), of the category of consumer printers being "as healthy as ever". As just one quick-and-dirty data point, industry leader HP (NYSE HPQ) and their recently announced quarterly metrics, reflects a decline in consumer-class hardware unit sales, down 8% in the most recent quarter, year-to-year.

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