Dell is to launch its own-branded range of printers in the first half of next year. The printers and cartridges will be produced in partnership with printer company Lexmark.
Until now, Dell has re-sold printers from manufacturers including Epson, Hewlett-Packard, Lexmark and Xerox, and avoided following other PC makers into peripheral markets. However, the company is looking at entering other hardware markets to build revenue outside its core PC and server businesses.
Dell has already branched out beyond PCs into notebook computers, servers, and most recently, the storage market. The lucrative ink cartridge market represents the next step in its strategy.
The printers will be relatively standard, but will include “features unique to Dell”, according to Dell’s marketing director for UK and Ireland, Nick Eades. Although he refuses to elaborate on exactly what these features will be, Eades says the printers will use cartridges that only fit Dell printers – as is standard in the printer market.
Under the terms of the agreement with Lexmark, Dell will recommend the printer company as its preferred supplier until the co-developed range reaches the market. Once released, the printers will be advertised in the national press and specialist IT magazines, and targeted at businesses through direct mail and online advertising. Dell has also expressed interest in the networking and handheld computer sectors.