Ink for inkjets continues to go up

    Ink for inkjet printers is one of the most expensive liquids on the planet, and manufacturers have found a new way to extract superprofits: reducing the volume of cartridges, writes The Guardian. In the illustration: cartridge for the HP300 printer of the 2002 model (left) and 2010 (right). The size of the ink sponge has been reduced, although the size of the cartridge remains the same.

    The 2002 Epson T032 color cartridge has the same physical size as the 2008 Epson T089 color cartridge, but the first contains 16 ml of ink and the second contains 3.5 ml. HP has a similar situation: ten years ago, the best-selling HP300 cartridge contained 42 ml of ink and sold for about $ 33, while now the 5 ml cartridge sells for $ 20. The full cartridge is labeled as the HP300XL and retails for $ 30-38.

    All three leading manufacturers of inkjet printers - HP, Epson and Canon - adhere to the same tactics and reduce the volume of cartridges. For example, the recently introduced Canon PGI-525BK cartridge contains 19 ml of ink, compared to 26 ml in the 2005 BCI-3BK cartridge. In addition, Canon also appeared XL series models, that is, cartridges in the same case, but refueled at full capacity.

    Independent experts believe that manufacturers are pushing users to replace cartridges more frequently, and the appearance of XL cartridges is just a marketing ploy for extra profit. Experts say that the cost of ink production is only a few euros per liter, and the cost of assembling cartridges is about 50 cents apiece. Thus, users are offered to overpay tens of times more than the cost. With such a business model, manufacturers can generally give out printers for free.

    The worst situation with color printers is when a manufacturer makes combination cartridges for all colors. In this case, the consumption of ink of one color entails the replacement of the entire cartridge, while the volume of the capacity for each of the colors can reach a tiny 2 ml. The way out is the use of cartridges, which provide for the replacement of each of the colors individually.

    Getting extra revenue on supplies is the standard business model for printer manufacturers. It is customary for them to sell the printer itself at cost or even cheaper than cost, and get the main profit from the sale of cartridges.

    The key link in this scheme is the fight against manufacturers of counterfeit cartridges and fake ink for printers. For example, HP's marketing department at one timeprepared a special presentation under the general title “Why are printer inks so expensive?”

    HP chief marketer Tom Brown explained that printer ink is justifiably one of the most expensive liquids on the planet. HP spends $ 1 billion a year on ink research. There are studies that prove that HP disposable cartridges supposedly last longer than refillable cartridges. The company believes that accounting for the cost of a milliliter of ink is generally an incorrect accounting, but in fact, you need to focus on the cost of 1 print made on an inkjet printer. So, the cost of one page printed on Officejet Pro printers has remained at about the same level since 2009, despite the reduction in cartridge size, thanks to the use of more advanced technologies.

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