Lexmark exits inkjet printer business, Sony drops optical disc drives

By on August 29, 2012, 7:30 AM

Lexmark has announced they are exiting the inkjet printer business as part of a $160 million restructuring program, resulting in the layoff of some 1,700 employees. The decision is expected to save $85 million next year although the company says they will continue to offer support, services and supplies for printers already in the wild. Lexmark plans to honor warranty claims as well.

With their departure from inkjet printers, Lexmark will now focus on enterprise products such as multifunction printers, managed print services and content management. These are considered to be higher-margin lines whereas inkjet printers represent a lower margin. Sales of inkjet supplies can bring in extra revenue but it’s not enough to be sustainable.

Printers, especially those at home, are being used less frequently thanks to the growing popularity of digital devices like smartphones and tablets. Furthermore, consumers are electing to store their images digitally instead of printing pictures to place in photo albums.

In related news, Sony has announced plans to exit the optical disc drive business as part of an ongoing restructuring effort. Sony Optiarc, a subsidiary that is responsible for making Blu-ray and DVD drives for computers, will shut down operations in December. The venture will officially be dissolved by March 2013. The 420 employees (90 from Sony Optiarc and 330 from overseas affiliates) will be offered jobs in other divisions or given the opportunity of an early retirement package.

Much like the printer business, Sony’s exit from the optical disc drive market is a sign of the times. Furthermore, the once lucrative business has all but dried up as multiple manufacturers now sell Blu-ray and DVD drives – a market once dominated by Sony.




User Comments: 11

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jznomoney said:

About time. Every lexmark printer I've had died a horrid death.

nismo91 said:

It's pretty obvious once I no longer see it in retail stores beginning of this year. it's a shame, I always liked lexmark AIO inkjet. the previous that I bought (intuition S505) allows wireless scanning, SD and USB pictbridge printing, for the same price as Canon MG3170 which does neither of those.

ink cartridges are always the root of the problem, they are not widely available, even years ago when lexmark is still strong. so im now switching to canon for inkjet and fuji xerox for laser.

Guest said:

Lexmark die because of their overpriced ink cartridge. I got a brother laser that has an 8000 page cartridge for probably %50 of Lexmark's price. We are talking about black and white 1200x1200.

1 person liked this | mls067 mls067 said:

Good riddance. Worst printers I have ever owned. I purchased 2 Dell's all-in-one printers, essentially a re-branded lexmark, and both had the print-heads go bad at almost the exact same time. It cost more to replace the head than it would to just go buy another printer!

lchu12 lchu12 said:

I'm sorry to see Sony drop their optical drives. Sad day.

TomSEA TomSEA, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Inkjets overall are a dying breed. For 1/4-1/3 the price you can get a laser printer now and not have to deal with the ridiculous pricing of inkjet cartridges.

1 person liked this | Wendig0 Wendig0, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Inkjets overall are a dying breed. For 1/4-1/3 the price you can get a laser printer now and not have to deal with the ridiculous pricing of inkjet cartridges.

Show me a consumer grade color laser printer that can print photos better than a good inkjet photo printer. You can't. Color Laser is only suitable, with the current technology, for business applications or for people that have no interest in printing frame worthy photos.

Inkjet will be around for many years to come.

TomSEA TomSEA, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

If you're using inkjet printers to print photos, then you're wasting a LOT of money in ink refills. It's significantly cheaper to go to your local drugstore, Wal-Mart, whatever and have them print them for you off of a USB stick or CD. I routinely see ads for 8 x 7 inch prints at 10 for $5.00 at my local drugstore. It'll cost you $50 to restock an inkjet printer where you'll be lucky to get twenty 8 x 7 prints before one of the ink cartridges runs out.

Guest said:

Like several others commented, thank god. Lexmark printers were, by far, the lousiest quality printers I've ever owned or come in contact with. Not just printers, I'd say they were the single lowest-quality pieces of technology in general I'd ever used.

Wendig0 Wendig0, TechSpot Paladin, said:

If you're using inkjet printers to print photos, then you're wasting a LOT of money in ink refills. It's significantly cheaper to go to your local drugstore, Wal-Mart, whatever and have them print them for you off of a USB stick or CD. I routinely see ads for 8 x 7 inch prints at 10 for $5.00 at my local drugstore. It'll cost you $50 to restock an inkjet printer where you'll be lucky to get twenty 8 x 7 prints before one of the ink cartridges runs out.

I've never gotten a decent photo from Wal-Mart (their colors are usually off), and I get at least 75 high quality 13x19's out of my canon pro9000 II before I need to replace the cartridges. I pay $85 for all 8 ink cartridges, but that is absolutely nothing when the prints sell for $25 each.

I see your point about going to wal-mart if you're talking about someone that prints a couple photos here and there of their grandchildren, but their "professional quality" photos are a joke, especially when they refuse to print 99% of the type of photos I do anyway.

1 person liked this | Blue Falcon said:

I went to Walmart and got 300 photos done for cheap, but after they came out, I threw them in the garbage. Went out and bought a Canon Pro9000 II. The difference in quality is incomparable. For black and white prints though for text documents the laser printer makes a lot of sense, however.

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