Top Ten Copier & Imaging Industry Predictions for 2020

 

So was 2019 a good year or a not so good year for the imaging industry?

If I'm thinking about my personal results then 2019 was awesome and one of the best ever.  I think 2020 will prove to be one of the biggest years yet for change in our industry.  Change is good, right?  I'm sure there will be at least two or three bombshells with one of them happening in late January 2020 and then another in late March to early April 2020.

None of my predictions came true in 2019 and that's because I didn't put any out there.  However past predictions from 2018, 2017, 2016 did allow me to add a little swagger in my prognostications.

Top Ten Copier & Imaging Industry Predictions for 2020

1. It's no secret to anyone and our Print4Pay Hotel Members with Xerox and HP.  It's my bold prediction that Xerox and HP will sit down for a mind meld in the next 90 days and deal will be struck for the merger.

2. KonicaMinolta, Canon, or Kyocera will purchase content management aka document management companies. One that comes to mind is Square 9 since they are in the dealer space already.

3. KonicaMinolta, Ricoh, Canon or Kyocera will purchase a wide format printer manufacturer.  Could be one of these Mutoh, Mimkai, Roland, or Kip.  The growth in print is real and it's with wide format color.

4. The new Fuji copier manufacturer, originally was Fuji-Xerox until Xerox sold their equity a few months ago.  Fuji will partner with a mega dealer in the US for private labeling of those copiers and software solutions.  Names that I keep seeing are Dex Imaging, Marco, Flex Print and RJ Young.

5. Look of the top four copier manufacturers to now turn their acquisition attention to cyber security companies.  Current forecasts project cyber security to top $221 Billion US  by 2022.  Maybe BT, CenturyLink, NTT or Wipro. It's going to happen just a question of who buys what.

6. I wrote this two years ago and it still hasn't happened, however the time has come that one of the copier manufacturers will cease to manufacture black/monochrome copiers.  It will be all color MFP's.

7. In an effort to continue "moving boxes" and a fear of FOMO (fear of missing out), one of the major copier companies will start offer their devices through Amazon.

8. Consolidation in a mature market will continue. Merger is the name of the game, and it could come from the likes of Ricoh, Canon, Kyocera or KonicaMinolta.  Konica and Minolta merged many years ago, and maybe it's time for another merger.

9. 2020 is the year that copier manufacturers finally get it and start selling more A4 devices with advanced functionality than A3 MFPs. 

10.  Ninestar purchases Toshiba Tec from Toshiba Corp, merges Lexmark and Toshiba for the creation of a new brand.  Any guesses?

I enjoy writing these and please keep in mind that these predictions are intended to be more entertaining than factual.  But, you never know what tomorrow will bring.

-=Good Selling=-

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I am not aware of the specific details on the new approx April 2020 Toshiba Tec A4 designs.

I do know that Toshiba Tec is moving away from SED-HDD towards a SSD in their products. Toshiba Corp is a world leader in SSD technology so expect something interesting in that area.

If the new A4s are going to be larger than a tabletop that would partially explain why the Toshmarks will remain in the product line. I know Toshiba Tec is working on a tighter integration with these models.

The Toshmarks are nice because we can place them in Lexmark accounts using Lexmark original print drivers.  Dealers like the Toshmarks because Toshiba is a lot less painful to get support from than Lexmark with hardware at about the same cost.

SalesServiceGuy posted:

Expect a Toshiba Tec manufactured A4 product line maybe as early as April 2020 using the same eBridge Next operating system as the current A3 product line.

The current "Toshmark" e478s/e389cs/e479cs product line sells well and will continue.  These Lexmark models can currently use the Toshiba original Universal 2 print driver.

I would not expect any news or interest in the Production space from Toshiba Tec.

Yes - Toshiba is introducing two A4 units, I believe, and from what I hear, they are not much smaller than their A3 cousins.  While I have heard claims they did this to minimize CPC's, it is probably because Toshiba did not want to invest in creating a whole new product line, rather tweak an existing one.  It is wait-and-see time.  Question is, will it fit on a desk/credenza?

As to Production, I am well aware of Toshiba's lack of vision/desire in that arena, as I tried for years to push for that product.  I do not see Toshiba making anything on their own.  TTEC needs to address their OEM arrangements in that segment and secure both B&W AND Color Production units.  Talks with Fuji should prove eye-opening, and, from what I have heard, might be underway.

Expect a Toshiba Tec manufactured A4 product line maybe as early as April 2020 using the same eBridge Next operating system as the current A3 product line.

The current "Toshmark" e478s/e389cs/e479cs product line sells well and will continue.  These Lexmark models can currently use the Toshiba original Universal 2 print driver.

I would not expect any news or interest in the Production space from Toshiba Tec.

I agree with SALESERVICEGUY on his Toshiba/Lexmark comment, and the relationship between Toshiba and Lexmark has been very strong for a dozen+ years.  I was actually a bit shocked that Lexmark re-labeled KM instead of Toshiba for their A3 products.  The Toshiba product line has always been strong, and the newest series does NOT disappoint.  The issue with Toshiba is that they have been resistant to investing the resources to offer a complete Toshiba-made, e-Bridge lineup from A4 all the way to Segment 6 B&W and Production Color.  The OEM arrangements Toshiba has made in the past, for B&W Production, were not successful.  The problem was not that the equipment is bad, it is just not Toshiba e-Bridge, and it is difficult to sell into some major accounts when the majority of your equipment is e-Bridge Driven, and then the Production is not (Think Drivers, Software Connectors, etc.)

I do not think that a Toshiba merger with someone like Lexmark would benefit either company, unless the combined company would dedicate the resources to offer production B&W and Color.  I think a more logical merger would be Toshiba/Kyocera or Toshiba/Sharp.  Kyoshiba?  Tosharpa?  I am pretty sure the Japanese do not want to lose another manufacturer to Chinese control, so I would lean more toward Toshiba/Kyocera.

However, I would not dismiss the idea of a Toshiba/Fuji partnership of some sort.

 

Toshiba Corp does not own the majority of shares in Toshiba Tec Corp.

Toshiba Tec is an independent corporation and owns 51% of its shares therefore controlling its own destiny.  Toshiba Corp owns the remaining 49%.

NineStar remains highly leveraged from its $3.6B 2016 acquisition of Lexmark and has fully tapped two lines of credit to keep operations functioning smoothly.

NineStar can access unlimited funds from the Chinese gov't to fund future acquisitions under the China 2025 initiative.  This program is designed to enable Chinese companies to dominate state selected strategic global industries like IT hardware.

To be sure, Toshiba Tec and Lexmark have developed a deep, mutually beneficial corporate partnership.

Currently, Lexmark A3 product is all relabelled Konica Minolta product.

A more possible prediction is that Lexmark would relabel Toshiba Tec A3 product.

Lexmark like Toshiba Tec both hold little interest to compete in the Print Production market where Konica Minolta excels thereby removing a Konica Minolta advantage.

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