Competition over smart printers grows more intense


Major Japanese printer companies have been releasing new desktop printers that are wireless or can be used to store Internet images.

The growing popularity of smartphones and cloud computing, whereby applications can be accessed anywhere via the Internet, has prompted the companies to boost communications capabilities of their products.

Competition has stepped up toward the yearend and more consumers will think ahead to print “nengajo” New Year’s cards.

Canon Inc. has made all five of its new printers in the Pixus line, set to be released Thursday, compatible with Wi-Fi wireless communications.

All of the new Pixus models can be controlled with a personal computer or smartphone. The main MG6330 model is expected to be priced at around ¥31,000.

Seiko Epson Corp.’s EP-805A printer, launched in September, allows users to store scanned pages from newspapers and magazines onto a cloud service.

It is possible to browse the stored data using a smartphone, according to the leading player in the home-use desktop printer market in Japan. The printer is priced at around ¥30,000.

Brother Industries Ltd. has been on a sales offensive since the launch of its new Privio inkjet printer brand in August.

The company is betting on its mainstay DCP-J4210N, priced at around ¥30,000. It has premade nengajo templates it can print without the use of a computer.