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Printer Economy Update

Posted by hs on December 13, 2005

Continuing from a previous post: Patent’ed Profits vs. Freedom of Choice

Some numbers on the printer market economics (sourced from the article Ever Wonder Why Ink Costs So Much? in BusinessWeek Nov 14, 2005 issue)

  • Cost of 3rd party refilling (e.g. Cartridge World) vs. vendor-sold (e.g. HP) cartridges: 40-60%
  • Ink inside a new cartridge from HP, Lexmark or Canon costs more per ounce than Chanel No. 5 or Dom Perignon
  • Global market for printer ink: $59 billion
  • Refiller share: 5% (2004); Knock-off brands: 18% (2004)
  • Estimated market share (non-vendor) in 2009: 31% (source: Lyra Research)

No wonder people like Cartridge world are expanding so fast. From 1 store in Australia to more than 1,000 stores across 30 countries (including 275+ in North America) raking in $300m annually in less than 10 years is surely a good business by any standards.

Keywords: Printer, Ink, Cost, BusinessWeek, Cartridges, HP, Cartridge World, Lexmark, Canon, Printer Ink Market, Refiller, Refilled Cartridges


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