As you probably know, for printer makers the money isn't in selling printers but in selling the ink that gets consumed by the printer. HP CEO Enrique Lores has now revealed that the company will take even more actions to optimize the business by getting rid of unprofitable customers.
Basically, if you buy a HP printer and then buy third-party ink, HP doesn't want your business. The company's new devices either lock down the type of ink you can use, or you'll have to pay more upfront for a HP printer that accepts cartridges that aren't sold by HP. Lores has indicated this is a strategy HP will continue to follow.
The solution, as outlined 13 months ago at HP's Securities Analyst Meeting, was to raise the upfront price of printer hardware for customers who didn't want to use HP-branded supplies. And for those who did, to create hardware that locked down the use of non-HP ink or toner.
This week, when talking to analysts about Q4 financial results, Lores alluded to the current state of play. "We continue to evolve our print business models with our drive towards services and a rebalance of profitability between hardware and supply."