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Updates from the OEMs

1 Jun, 2006 By: Tetsuo Kubo imageSource

Updates from the OEMs

the last several months, several of Japan’s major office equipment manufacturers
(OEMs) have come up with new products and strategic announcements that are
designed to increase market share and expand the document solutions boundaries.
There are opportunities for those who dare to look further into the office of
the future.

Brother Industries: A New 3-Year Plan Focuses on Printing Business
Brother Industries, Ltd. recently announced a new three year plan called "CS
B2008" which defines the company’s "Drive for Growth" through 2008 (Brother’s
100th Anniversary). Expected R&D investment will be approximately $100 billion
yen ($880 million U.S. dollars) which was an increase of 45 percent from the
previous plan. They also expect $87.5 billion yen ($770 million U.S. dollars)
for equipment investment which is close to a 60 percent increase. The plan calls
for expanding (especially in printing business) where they plan to enlarge the
scale and continue investment for growth in the next three-year term while
improving their superiority in the market.

Communications and printing devices (digital multi-function products, fax
machines, printers) and electronic stationery will be integrated into a new
business segment - the Printing and Solutions (P&S) business. The plan aims to
unify printing related business, sharing of resources, improve development
efficiency, and reinforce their system to provide customers with the most
appropriate products and services based on the unified sales channel policy and
marketing strategy. They plan to focus on developing color engines, propelling
color and multi-functions, and establish "Brother for Color" as part of their
expanding product line-up for the color market.

Casio: New Tandem Color Printer Offers Compact Engine Casio Computer Co.,
Ltd. announced to launch their A3 size color printer "Speedia N3500" with an
MSRP of approximately $248,000 yen ($2,205 U.S.), which is based on their newly
developed engine for small size and light weight machines. "We developed the
desktop tandem color page printer first in the market ten years ago, and have
reinforced handling of special media including longer size, waterproof and
thicker paper," said Akira Kashio, Director and General Manager of Casio’s Sales
Division. "The new product compiles the technologies over the past ten years and
provides a compact size suitable for office usage as well."

Casio’s printers have been well accepted in limited markets such as logistics,
education and medical but they have not marketed in the office marketplace as
aggressively. The company also plans to reinforce their sales in Japan and
supply their new printer engines to U.S. companies.

Canon: New Large Format Canon announced the new "imagePROGRAF" series of
large format inkjet printers, and aims to increase market share in Japan to 15
percent which is three times more than last year. Their lineups are the iPF9000
with an MSRP of $1,998,000 yen (approximately $18,000 U.S.) for large photo, art
and display up to 60 inch wide paper, and the iPF700/iPF600/iPS500 series with
an MSRP of $395,000/$275,000/$198,000 yen respectively ($3,500/$2,500/$1,700
U.S. respectively) for a variety of usages including CAD, GIS, posters and
office display use.

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