Database News : Thursday December 06, 2007
PRINTERS / INKJETS
Epson sees big potential for photo inkjet printers here
Macau - Epson (Thailand) has revamped its distribution channels with an Epson Authorised Partner (EAP) project to have product sales and services run to a single standard and aims to be the printer market leader over the next few years.
According to Epson (Thailand) president Naoyuki Saeki, the EAP project was introduced up to appoint authorised dealers to provide complete Epson products and services to customers. By the end of 2007, Epson expected the number of EAPs to reach 110 shops in 40 provinces and next year there would be at least one shop in every province, he said.
"Printer products require a recommendation from salespersons and thus we perceive that EAP will enable Epson to get closer to customers," he said.
During Fiscal 2006, the company's sales revenues were 2.4 billion baht, breaking down into 47% from consumer products and 53% being business products. Epson had targetted sales of 2.7 billion baht this year, Saeki said.
Epson (Thailand) executive director Yunyong Muneemongkoltorn said the company continued to focus on introducing new technology. Inkjet printers remained a popular choice, with single-function printers dominating the market this year, accounting for 65% of sales compared with 35% for multi-function devices. This trend, however, would change as multi-function devices gained more popularity due to pricing.
In 2008, Thailand's printer market was was forecast to be over one million units, Yunyong said, noting that Epson was now the No.2 in both single and multi-function inkjet printers and aimed to be No.1 over the next few years.
The company's strategies were to continue new product launches for photo inkjets with higher print speeds and better premium photo printing quality, holding seminars about digital photography with photographic associations and a road show programme and a strong promotion of Epson technology, Yunyong said.
He noted that photo inkjets accounted for 10% of the total inkjet market and sales were growing by over 20%, while the general inkjet growth was less than 10%. Currently, Epson has a 40% market share in photo inkjet printers.
Mr Saeki added that in Japan photo inkjets represented around 75% of all inkjet printers sold, but the proportion here was still low. "Epson would like to have the highest proportion of photo printers because Epson's technology is suited to photo printing. However, a limitation of the Thai market is that the price of photo lab printing is low."
Epson was trying to reduce the price of photo paper and ink, making the printers more competitive, and focussing on convenient sales outlets, he said.
Epson has announced three new products, including the Epson Stylus Photo R290, RX610, and PictureMate PM270 which offer photo quality printing capabilities and Epson Claria Photo Lab System using Claria Photographic Ink which makes a photograph last up to 200 years.
The printers also have self-diagnostic system and digital photo correction systems using a Claria Photo Enhance function, and are equipped with the latest Epson Micro Piezo high-pressure injket heads and VSDT technology to automatically adjust the size of the ink droplets.
By : Bangkok Post