Within weeks of HP seemingly throwing in the towel to rival single colour ink tanks and permanent print heads, Canon today introduces a new range of single-use integrated multi-colour ink cartridges with integrated print head.
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They look like Lexmark or HP ink cartridges but these are Canon's new weapons for ink jet printer domination
Unlike HP and Lexmark, Canon's new ink cartridges are loaded on the left hand side of the printer.
Has the ink jet printer industry gone mad? Last month HP revealed its latest ink jet print technology that adopts the policy of its key rivals, Canon and Epson, of using single colour ink tanks and a separate, permanent, print head. This was a major departure for HP, which had, until then, vigorously defended its policy of producing multi-colour ink cartridges with built in print heads meant for single use. But today, Canon, THE advocate of single ink tanks in consumer ink jet printer, has an ink jet cartridge strategy that can only be described as HP's new initiative in complete reverse.
So here we have two major ink jet printer manufacturers who have spend the last five years rubbishing each other's choice of ink jet tank and print head configuration and, overnight, they have forgotten the past and, basically, adopted each other's former strategies.
Canon says the adoption of ink cartridges with integrated print heads is fundamental to its goal of becoming the No.1 ink jet printer and all-in-one printer/scanner/copier manufacturer. This type of cartridge enables Canon to strengthen its budget printer line in a sector where HP and Lexmark have become very strong using such cartridges. However, it doesn't mark the abandonment of single colour ink tanks in its medium and high-end printers.
Indeed, Canon has taken its rivals cartridge designs and improved on them by widening the print head coverage with more nozzles to enable faster printing and reducing the ink drop volume via its FINE print head technology, for improved print quality.
Although it does seem that HP and Canon are a bit loopy in copying each other's printer configurations, it's not that silly when you think about it. Canon wants to compete with HP in the budget end of the market, so it has decided that if they can't beat'em with their own ink/head configurations, they might as well join them. And for HP, it's the same, but in reverse - HP wants a bigger slice of the mid and high-end photo ink jet printer sector, where Canon and Epson are strong with their single ink tank and fixed print head configurations.
Now all we need is for Epson to come up with Canon-style transparent ink tanks...