NYT: Printing in a Smartphone Age

Discussion in 'Palm webOS' started by AKITAYO, Jun 7, 2010.


    AKITAYO New Member

    So,apparently, we will see Palm webos addressed to not only HP/Palm smartphones , as we can read on this NYT article, but to all smartphones, maybe a few brands of them. ?????

    SAN DIEGO — Vyomesh I. Joshi, the head of Hewlett-Packard’s $24 billion printing empire, relaxes by taking long walks on the beaches near his home here. And, for a while, it seemed as if he might end up spending more time strolling the sand than moving ink and toner.

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    Sandy Huffaker for The New York Times

    Vyomesh Joshi, who runs H.P.’s printing empire, will introduce new printers with Web access and e-mail addresses.

    Sandy Huffaker for The New York Times

    Spencer Hanson checks the print quality of Hewlett-Packard’s new printer at a company facility in San Diego.

    H.P.’s printing business deflated during the darkest days of the recession, producing plenty of gossip that Mr. Joshi would either leave the company or be fired. But sales have started to come back, and Mr. Joshi, who goes by V.J., is still around in fighting form. On Monday, he will preside over an event announcing H.P.’s latest attack on the printing market — which will center on printers built for the iPhone age
    “We heard some of that speculation about V.J.,” said Ben Reitzes, an analyst with Barclays Capital. “But it does seem like he’s reinvigorated and there are new products, and things are getting better for the business.”
    Mr. Joshi has spent years disputing the notion that people will print less as they do more on their hand-held devices. This week, he will see his ideas put into action as H.P. introduces a fleet of printers with Web access, their own e-mail addresses and touch screens. These products should open up new ways for people to print from Web services like Google Docs, and from smartphones and devices like the iPad from Apple.

    Mr. Joshi is going back to his roots as an engineer — as a young H.P. researcher, he figured out a way to make ink cartridges fire 45 million drops — and relying on new technologies, not slick marketing. But still, he will have to prove that customers will change their behavior and print more if given the right tools. That, Mr. Reitzes said, is crucial to how investors will evaluate the long-term prospects of H.P.

    “Investors are worried about printing,” he said. “It’s really important that they get this right.”

    As the world’s largest technology company, H.P. sells a wide variety of products but got much of its profit from printers and their pricey ink. More recently, H.P. has built up a large technology services arm as well, which has helped round out its business. But the printing division accounts for about a fifth of its revenue and a third of its profits
    The new printers — which build on a limited experiment last year — will range in price from $99 to about $400. Every one will come with what H.P. executives billed as a breakthrough feature — its very own e-mail address.
    H.P.’s engineers hit on the e-mail address as an easy, familiar way for people to send print jobs to the Web-ready printers. You can, for example, take a photo with a phone, e-mail it to your printer’s address and have the printout waiting for you at home. Or, you can share the printer’s e-mail address with family and friends. This means that someone can buy Grandma a Web-ready printer and have it pump out photos of the grandchildren without Grandma having to do much of anything. (Except buy that pricey ink.

    H.P. is also lining up partners for a Web site, the ePrintCenter, which the company envisions as the kind of app store that Apple, Google and others have for their smartphones. The idea is that the partners — so far, H.P. has lined up 40 — can build software and services for its Web printers.
    For example, children, and their parents, could print out coloring books from Crayola, and Dora the Explorer birthday activity packs from Nickelodeon.
    “Now that H.P. is going mass-market with this technology, we will more actively program to it,” said Steve Youngwood, an executive vice president at Nickelodeon.

    H.P. plans to offer a few of these new printers to consumers this month, and then a few more of the products to small businesses in September. It expects to sell more than 15 million of the Web printers by next year.
    The hardest part may be convincing consumers to change their behavior and adopt the new tools. People who once printed out directions now have their own navigational devices, and things like boarding passes and tickets are starting to give way to their digital equivalents on smartphones.

    Analysts add that recessions tend to condition people to print less.
    Still, Mr. Joshi is optimistic. “We think by next year more printing will be done from the Web than from word-processing applications,” he said.
    The e-mail address approach removes a major barrier to use in the mobile era: a cable, as well as the installation of the often-irksome software that makes the printer and PC work together.

    This type of technology could make finding and using a printer at an airport, hotel or office easier as well.

    H.P.’s approach has caught the attention of Google, and the companies have formed a partnership so that people can send jobs from things like Google Docs and Calendar to H.P.’s Web printers.

    Beyond the home and office printers, H.P. has found some flashy expansions for its industrial digital printing machines — some bigger than conference rooms — that crank out thing as varied as billboards, textbooks and custom labels on Heineken beer bottles
    Companies like Nickelodeon and Dr. Seuss Enterprises will soon offer customized wallpaper through H.P. and retail partners. From a Web site, people can enter the dimensions of a room and then arrange their favorite characters in a scene built to fit that room. They can then pick up numbered wallpaper sheets at a local store and put them up with water and a sponge.

    Tiny Prints produces custom greeting cards and stationery with H.P.’s industrial digital machines, and raised sales by 100 percent in 2008 and 50 percent in 2009 despite the grim economy, said Ed Han, the company’s chief executive
    H.P. also expects to have about 7,000 printing kiosks in retail stores by the end of this year, pumping out photos, books and brochures. And, over the last few years, H.P. has built out its business for managing the printing operations of companies and now has $6 billion worth of contracts.
    “That is literally from zero dollars,” said Mark V. Hurd, the chief executive of H.P.
    Historically, H.P. has spent vast sums of research and development dollars on its printing and imaging business to make sure its products could outdo those of competitors. This division, however, has come under the same cost constraints as other parts of H.P. under Mr. Hurd.
    “Have our budgets and resources been impacted? Yes, absolutely they have,” said Glen Hopkins, a vice president in H.P.’s printing research and development group

    Mr. Joshi has also pushed to lower the printing division’s manufacturing costs.

    “I think this group has made material progress,” Mr. Hurd said. “At the same time, it also has the opportunity to be more efficient.”

    Mr. Joshi, who many people thought would one day inherit the chief executive job, said he chose to ignore the public speculation about his future at H.P
    “In October, I will have completed 30 years here,” Mr. Joshi said. “I love this company, and my view is that printing is still a very significant part of H.P.”

    AKITAYO New Member

    HP Introduces the Future of Printing: Web Connected and Cloud Aware news release

    HP Introduces the Future of Printing: Web Connected and Cloud Aware news release http://bit.ly/aR0OyF