[German]HP CEO Enrique Lores recently complained about the annoying “unprofitable customers” who use foreign cartridges in the good HP inkjet printers. He explains how the preproduction costs increase for printers that use foreign cartridges. HP has taken steps to optimize the business by reducing the number of unprofitable customers.
Over the years, HP’s ink and toner business has generated billions in profits. But then, in 2019, things went downhill: more and more customers were attracted by cheaper third-party alternatives (copies or refills). HP had to write off more than 110 million Euro from surplus stocks of toner and ink.
HP apparently no longer wants customers who run HP ink printers with third-party cartridges. The Register has revealed some insights here. The solution was to increase the upfront price of printer hardware for customers who did not want to use HP brand consumables. And for those customers who wanted to, hardware was developed that excluded the use of non-HP ink or toner.
In November 2020, HP started to introduce HP+, which is described as an “end-to-end platform strategy” that binds customers to use only HP ink. HP+ includes Internet-connected “standard printing hardware” which, according to HP, “automatically detects and fixes connectivity problems,” the Smart Security monitoring system, native printing in the operating system, and a Forest First feature where each printed page is “offset with investments to protect and restore forests equally.
HP+ requirements include an HP account, an Internet connection, and “use of genuine HP ink or toner for the life of the printer”. HP+ is offered without a subscription, but HP offers a six-month trial of instant ink, the service that recently caused some annoyance when HP terminated the free lifetime printing contract and replaced it with a monthly payment plan (see Take care: HP Instant Ink).
HP tries to guide customers by all means on the aisle to buy the expensive ink and toner. Recently I reported in a blog post (HP firmware update for ink/laser printers blocks third-party cartridges (Nov. 2020)) that a firmware update blocked the printers for foreign cartridges.
HP printer firmware disables refill ink cartridges
HP apologizes, new firmware update for printers soon
HP: New printer firmware re-enables refill ink cartridges
Firmware Update blocks again non HP Printer Cartridges
Is a HP Firmware Update blocking again Third Party Ink Cartridges?
Does HP blocks 3rd party ink cartridges again on its printers (Jan. 2019)?
HP firmware update for ink/laser printers blocks third-party cartridges (Nov. 2020)
Take care: HP Instant Ink
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