In an era when businesses seem to be constantly diversifying and opening up new revenue streams, Lexmark is going in the other direction and discontinuing its range of consumer inkjet printers. Despite positive feedback for its home inkjet machines, this division of the company has been losing money, thanks largely to a decline in consumer business for legacy machines.
Partly as a result of the poor performance of its inkjet division, Lexmark has seen its total sales revenue fall for five of the last six years, with printer sales plummeting from 20.4 million units in 2005 to 4.9 million in 2010. In contrast, Lexmark's core business of laser and high-end inkjet printers has remained healthy and, indeed, demonstrated some growth. By jettisoning the struggling sector of its business, Lexmark is hoping that the benefits will be felt across this business, although it concedes that this will take some time, possibly two years or more.
So, what does this mean for consumers? Well, from now on, Lexmark home inkjet printers are no longer available, although you can still purchase the business-orientated OfficeEdge devices. This does mean less choice for the consumer but with so many great products on the market, this shouldn't present too big a problem. Slightly more concerning for consumers who've already purchased one of the discontinued machines is the availability of consumables. However, in common with other printer manufacturers, Lexmark has confirmed that will continue to manufacture inks for all its discontinued printers for several years and Printware will continue to stock the full range of Lexmark ink cartridges.
by Anthony Morgan