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HP IT Technology

HP to Region-code Cartridges 716

Posted by samzenpus
from the outsourcing-ink-bad dept.
prostoalex writes "Looks like the printer cartridge manufacturers will be borrowing techniques from Hollywood. HP introduced region coding for some of the newest printers sold in Europe. HP's US location and US dollar sliding lead to the situation, where cartridge prices in Europe are significantly higher than those in the States. In the Wall Street Journal article HP representative in Europe claims the company doesn't make any money off regional coding for cartridges, and that consumers will win once the US dollar rises over Euro."
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HP to Region-code Cartridges

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  • Greedy? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 20, 2005 @06:05AM (#11417928)
    I think I speak for everyone when I say, "Damn greedy bastards!"

    Oh.. and don't try to fool me into believing that you don't earn anything from catridges.
    • Yep. It also looks like textbook antitrust.
    • by beh (4759) * on Thursday January 20, 2005 @06:25AM (#11418029)
      It is kind of strange to see these things happening.

      As ridiculous region coding is for DVDs, there I can see a minimal reason (the publishers not wanting a DVD to make it into a market where the movie hasn't even been in the cinemas yet... But as cinema release dates for the big global productions inch ever closer to each other all over the globe, this reason is going away fast - leaving the only "good" thing of the region codings that they can charge more in Europe.

      But for an inkjet printer manufacturer - this is pure rip-off. What would I gain by, say, buying an ink-cartridge for a printer that hasn't even been released here from the US? Nothing. I would only waste money.

      But - since HP's pricing has gone worse over time anyway, I think it's time to ditch them for good and no longer buy their products... (and just hope that this whole thing doesn't catch on in the printer industry).


      • My opinion: Fire Carly Fiorina! She can't make money for the company without being adversarial for customers. When a company treats its customers badly to try to make more money, that is an indication that the CEO is desperate.

        Reworded: "Where are our anti-trust laws when we need them?" The U.S. government is so corrupt that there is no chance there will be any government involvement. A government that kills other people just because a few people want that certainly will not be influenced by laws.

        HP inkjets aren't competitive, anyway, so don't buy them. In my experience, they've been having terrible problems with their printer management programs.

        HP's action speaks loud and clear: Try Canon!
        • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 20, 2005 @09:48AM (#11419302)
          When a company treats its customers badly to try to make more money, that is an indication that the CEO is desperate.

          No, it is instead an indication of a company trying to take advantage of people as the culture itself allows it to do. Being treated badly by corporations is getting to epidemic proportions. Surely you must have noticed this, at least in America. The prevailing attitude is that such behavior is wholly justified since it allows said company be "be globally competitive", or some other such rubbish.

          With President Bush's "Ownership Society" scam starting to rise into the public consciousness, people are still likely to choose the performance of their stock portfolios much over the ethics of consumer treatment. HP's latest attack is only setting the stage for the next generation of "business as usual". If you personally don't like it, then:

          1. Don't put your money into stocks.
          2. Don't buy HP products.

          The culture is you. Stop rewarding terrible companies like HP. Have your friends and family do the same. Spread the gospel of populism once again over the land, and then stuff like this cartridge-coding bullshit will stop.
        • HP has finally embraced the "SCO Method" of corporate financial governance -- "in a period of shrinking market share, go after your customers". HP used to be an icon of the high tech industry, with a well-respected name in everything from scientific instruments to servers to calculators to printers. Look at how far they have fallen. If the shareholders and the Board of Directors don't fire Carly Fiorina, they will all be out of a job within 3 years. (And at that point, Fiorina will have preserved her "pe
      • But - since HP's pricing has gone worse over time anyway, I think it's time to ditch them for good and no longer buy their products... (and just hope that this whole thing doesn't catch on in the printer industry).

        Unfortunately, that's easier said than done. Take a look at the list of Suggested Printers for Free Software Users [linuxprinting.org] and try to find a printer that is well supported on BSD, Linux and friends. The list is a bit outdated, but in general it's a good guideline. I researched this in detail a few mont

      • by agoliveira (188870) <.ten.noslida. .ta. .noslida.> on Thursday January 20, 2005 @07:39AM (#11418365)
        Not counting that in the rest of the world is not crime to circunvent this kind of measure. Here in Brazil we have lots of companies that sells ink cardriges. Some of them are as good as the originals. The only thing the original manufacturers can do is to make ads like "Use only a original XX cardrige or youir printer will fail, burn your house and kill your dog". And, BTW, all DVD players sold here can have it's region enconding changed as will as well. And guess what? It's quite rare to see bootleg DVDs because people here prefer region 4 DVDs because they have the local language and/or subtitles and the ones like me who have imported stuff which is not usually published around here is very happy to be able to see a DVD which was legally imported and paid for.
      • by squiggleslash (241428) on Thursday January 20, 2005 @08:17AM (#11418572) Homepage Journal
        Given most DVDs are region encoded, regardless of whether they're for movies that came out in the cinema six months ago, or for movies that were released before video taping was ever invented, I think it's safe to say that region encoding doesn't really have a lot to do with cinema release dates.
        • A political angle? (Score:3, Interesting)

          by swb (14022)
          I wondered if the people who put the region concept together didn't figure on not only protecting regional price differentials, but gaining better entry to markets sensitive to content for ideological reasons by "ensuring" that content they didn't like wasn't playable on the recorders commonly available within that region.

          This would explain why the region code map has some significant geographical incongruities and why China is its own region.
      • About two years ago, my company delivered a complete solution (hardware, software, training) to Turkey and the equipment was purchased in the US to be preconfigured. This included the printers (HP) and (HP) plotters (no, they didn't need configured really but the customer wanted a thorough test of the system, including output) as part of the US purchased equipment list. Now I'm sure the end users would just be thrilled if they had to purchase replacment cartridges from the US rather then going to their lo
      • by FreeUser (11483) on Thursday January 20, 2005 @10:56AM (#11420068)
        As ridiculous region coding is for DVDs, there I can see a minimal reason (the publishers not wanting a DVD to make it into a market where the movie hasn't even been in the cinemas yet... But as cinema release dates for the big global productions inch ever closer to each other all over the globe, this reason is going away fast - leaving the only "good" thing of the region codings that they can charge more in Europe.

        Region codes are bullshit no matter how you slice it. They make a mockery of free markets and free trade agreements. Essentially, the international corporations have decided they like free trade agreements when it means they can outsource their labor to the cheapest markets without restrictions (and in the case of the Bush administration, with tax incentives to do so), but they will artificially fragment the marketplace in order to prevent their customers from shopping competatively.

        Free trade for corporations, restricted trades for mortal humans.

        Its unjustifiable, regardless of whether it's DVDs we're talking about, or printer cartidges. The DVD justification has always been weak, and typically break down to:

        1) MPAA Whiney voice: "But we don't want people buying movies in one market when they haven't been released in another."

        1) Sensible citizen's response: "Touch shit. It's a global marketplace. Release your movies globally, instead of fucking with people in market B by making them wait six months longer than people in market A. This whole "second class" market citizenship is vile anyway."

        2) Whiney MPAA voice: "But we don't want arbitrage markets forming, where people buy DVDs in China for $3 and sell them in the US for $10 when we're selling the same DVD for $20."

        2A) Reasonable citizen response: "Fuck you. If you can make a profit selling DVDs in China for $3, you can make a profit selling them in the US for $3. Anything more is gouging the customer, and quite frankly, no one with a shred of common sense should have an ounce of sympathy for an industry that bases its entire business model on the practice of gouging various sets of customers. Oh, and if you're going to whine about currency markets and shifting values of the yuan against the dollar, a sensible person has but two things to say. One, the Yuan is locked to the dollar, so the specific argument with regard to China is doubly bullshit, and two, in the more general sense (e.g. the US vs. Europe), currency markets are free marktets, and you can accept their results the same as the rest of us. If that means someone occasionally gets a good deal when they travel overseas, more power to them. Its called a global economy ... you've used it as an excuse to outsource our jobs overseas, now get used to us shopping overseas if we like."

        HP should be run out of town for this nonsense. The MPAA should be run out of town for this nonsense. But most importantly, the scum-sucking politicians who set up this one-sided regime of free trade for companies, but restricted trade and rights for real, living human beings, should be run out of the country for this nonsense.

        Not that I'm holding my breath, mind you.
    • Re:Greedy? (Score:4, Informative)

      by myom (642275) on Thursday January 20, 2005 @06:54AM (#11418148)
      In Sweden HP and a few other manufacturers set the prices on the replacement cartridges so high that there exists a huge market in refillables as well refill kits for existing ones.

      It is quite obvious HP makes more money off their expensive cartridges than the printer sales themselves. If you are smart you actually buy new printer for 40 including a cartridge instead of... just a refill cartridge for 40.

      I can see a trend where HP and other manufacturers odify their ink:

      - harder to refill
      - have even tougher to crack IDs (to precent the use of refillable third party cartridges) DMCA and the European equivalents will surely be used some day as a move
      - country or region coded

      I for one avoid HP and Lexmark inkjets, and this aversion for these brands has also lead to many purchase decisions affecting HPs computer, laptop and laser printer sales in organisations where I am involved.

      This reeks of greed.
  • by Alioth (221270) <no@spam> on Thursday January 20, 2005 @06:05AM (#11417929) Journal
    If they claim they don't make money off region coding cartridges, why are they doing it? Sounds like bullshit to me.
    • by FrYGuY101 (770432) on Thursday January 20, 2005 @06:07AM (#11417947) Journal
      Technically, they're not making money off the region encoding itself. Rather, they maintain the ability to price-discriminate in varying economic climates, which in turn allows them to make more money.

      Classic spin.
      • I think the "ability to price-discriminate" is basically an illegal trade barrier. I don't see why WTO rules should apply only to workers who have to experience outsourced jobs, but not to companies selling products in a global market. Hopefully the bastards will get the fines they deserve.
        • by miu (626917) on Thursday January 20, 2005 @06:39AM (#11418092) Homepage Journal
          A barrier to trade can only be enacted by a state, this is just a multi-national corporation using superior mobility.

          This also a beautiful illustration of why multinationals are the real winners in globalization, they can use labor cost differentials to make a killing and legally backed technological guards to enforce market separation for consumers.

          • A barrier to trade can only be enacted by a state

            Yes, but:

            they can use labor cost differentials to make a killing and legally backed technological guards to enforce market separation for consumers

            There's the state. I have no problem with HP doing this. I have a huge problem with government declaring it illegal for me not to conform to HP's business model.
      • "price-discriminate in varying economic climates"

        Huzzah for Globalisation! I have the freedom to watch my job move to Mumbai, but I'll be jiggered if I can buy a printer cartridge from there.

    • Because IMHO HP are now Evil. Time was when HP kit was the bollocks, and totally reliable, and not too expensive. Now they're a bunch of assholes trying to wring every last euro out of us.

      So the big question is are there any non-Evil printer manufacturers out there?
    • by JaredOfEuropa (526365) on Thursday January 20, 2005 @06:35AM (#11418082) Journal
      If they claim they don't make money off region coding cartridges, why are they doing it?
      If the dollar drops against the euro, and we buy cartridges for the same euro amount, then HP gets more dollars. However, we can just buy cartridges in the US ourselves to take advantage of the strong euro, screwing HP out of their extra profit. Region coding takes care of that little loophole. Conversely, if the dollar becomes rather strong, we will not win out like HP claims. In that case, I suspect they raise the euro price of cartridges... they'll have to, since not doing so will eat directly into their normal profit margins.

      So it's very simple: they want to pass off any disadvantages of the exchange rate to us customers, while pocketing the advantages. The first is only natural, but they can only get away with the second if they can prevent us from buying in the US.
      • But wasn't the internet, ecommerce and globalisation supposedly all about getting the best deal anywhere in the freaking world? Now that the system works for consumers, not just for big business to lure away taxable profits, they pull shit like this.

        Just realize it guys. Any business big enough is only after one thing, screwing everyone else. This is capitalism at it's finest, and those who endorse it shouldn't expect anything else.

        • Just realize it guys. Any business big enough is only after one thing, screwing everyone else. This is capitalism at it's finest, and those who endorse it shouldn't expect anything else.

          No, screwing everyone else requires resources, which eats into profits. Businesses are after short-term profits. They'll do anything to ensure they keep making as much money as possible. They'll even break the law if the return on investment is high enough.

          But they won't do anything just to hurt people. They don't have emo

  • Dollar rising (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 20, 2005 @06:05AM (#11417930)
    Sorry, the dollar will rise against the euro!?!?! When exactly? From where I'm looking, it looks like the current barmy US economic policy will see it sliding indefinately... say goodbye to buying oil with dollars.
    • Re:Dollar rising (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Asic Eng (193332)
      And related to that: the Euro is currently trading high against the Dollar. That means it should be cheaper for Europeans to buy US products, however HP wants to prevent that and keep the prices artificially high. Now let's assume the Dollar soars - now HP will keep the prices in Europe lower? Even though their costs are increasing? I dunno, I suspect things won't quite go that way... :-)
    • by iamatlas (597477) on Thursday January 20, 2005 @07:57AM (#11418436) Homepage
      [SOUTHERN ACCENT] Ya'll see hear young buck, just as the South shall rise again in Glory heretofore unheard of, so too shall the mighty Dollar rise again against the spineless Euro! [/SOUTHER ACCENT]
  • and probably illegal.

    Besides, how do they mean consumers will benefit when the dollar rises against the euro? They'll just use that as an excuse to put prices up.

    There is a mechanism for dealing with exchange-rate risk, hedging the currency market. This way smacks of profiteering.
    • Well, DVD region codes still exists, is there any difference when it comes to a legal standpoint?
      • Maybe not legally.. but there's definately a difference. You'd throw away a cartridge after use (or maybe refill it if you're one of those cheapo-hippy types :P ) but a DVD you tend to keep and get used again and again..
        • I know there's a phyiscal difference, but from a legal standpoint, they are both ways to control the market price. Now, they can up the price in Europe without having to see what the prices are like in the US and vice versa. How does a consumer "win"? And why is it more illegal than what is essentially done on DVD's?

          Personally, I put printer vendors up there with Hitler or something..
    • HAH! Hell will freeze over first! The euro only dipped below the dollar because there was no confidence in a new currency! Both the starting rate and current rates are WELL above the dollar!

      FYI, 1 will theoretically buy you about $1.30 at present - i.e. $1 = 0.77

      Even if the euro declined for an extended period, it would be at least a year if not more before we would see the dollar worth more than it!

      Bah! They're a bunch of blood-sucking money-hungry capitalist pigs.
  • by arivanov (12034) on Thursday January 20, 2005 @06:06AM (#11417937) Homepage
    Well, more material for the boys from Brussels. I guess HP is doing their best to break MSFT record for an EC fine.
    • Interesting how, when it comes to offshoring, it's "the market should dictate your value and worth as an employee, regardless of regional differences in costs of living" . . . Until it comes to the company's bottom line. Then they suddenly decide to handicap the whole game. What's good for the goose?
  • How Stupid? (Score:3, Funny)

    by mr i want to go home (610257) on Thursday January 20, 2005 @06:06AM (#11417938)
    How stupid do the PR people for these companies think we are?

    Consumers will win once the US dollar rises over Euro

    Oh yes! I'm sure consumer in the US will be thrilled!

  • once ... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by DoktorTomoe (643004)
    ... once the US dollar rises over Euro

    if the US dollar rises over the Euro

    Seriously, is it ethically correct that 100ml ink is more expensive than 100ml insulin?

    • No. Let's just raise insulin prices until it's more expensive than ink again!
    • Is it ethically correct that two completely unrelated and different products have no price correlation? I shall leave you to decide the answer.
    • Re:once ... (Score:5, Informative)

      by Senjaz (188917) on Thursday January 20, 2005 @06:43AM (#11418114) Homepage
      True, or translation for us Brits. ... once [sic, read: if] the US dollar rises over the Pound.

      Yeah right. That's going to happen. The pound is so strong against the dollar right now it's silly.

      Importing stuff from the US makes sense to comsumers here, especially now the Internet makes it easy.

      US companies have ritually shafted us for years with their foreign price fixing and they're not happy when we won't take it and import instead.

      I can import Levis 501s for $32 that's £17.13. Here they cost £45. Even if Customs and Excise notice and charge me duty I'm still paying less than half the price they set here. Typically I get my American friends to bring a new pair over for me when they visit.

      Electronics and Computers too. A friend of mine flew over from Birmingham, UK to New York City for a break a couple of years ago. He bought a Powerbook G4 whilst there. He said the money he saved covered the cost of his flight.

      I'm pretty sure we have laws governing free market to stop this crap.
  • Import printers? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by lintux (125434) <slashdot@@@wilmer...gaast...net> on Thursday January 20, 2005 @06:08AM (#11417949) Homepage
    How are they going to prevent me from importing a printer together with the cartridges? Or will they find some neat software scheme in the driver to find out in which country the printer is being used?

    Oh well, time to find a printer manufacturer with printers as their core business instead of selling printer ink for gold-prices.
    • How are they going to prevent me from importing a printer together with the cartridges?
      They can make it more difficult for you with their power supplies. If you buy something that is designed to only accept 120V supplies (i.e. USA, Canada, and some others) and plug it into a 230V supply (most of the rest of the world, including Europe, ther Middle East, Australia, New Zeland) the likely effect will be it going *bang*.
    • "Oh well, time to find a printer manufacturer with printers as their core business instead of selling printer ink for gold-prices."

      Ha. Good luck.
    • Re:Import printers? (Score:3, Informative)

      by dmayle (200765) *

      Oh well, time to find a printer manufacturer with printers as their core business instead of selling printer ink for gold-prices.

      Try Canon. I did my research because I was disgusted with all the crappy printer companies, and Canon is still doing it right. I recommend the i4000r. It prints out flawless photos, has networking built-in, and, if you live in Europe, also has a CD/DVD printer builtin. It's got two inputs (a tray, and a tilted slot, and even prints on both sides of the page. At 200 Euros,

    • I buy a new inkjet with 2 new cartridges when they are cheaper than buying 2 replacement cartridges.

      I bought four Canon S200's. If Canon, Lexmark, or HP are going to sell printers with cartridges cheaper than they sell cartridges, I'm going to buy a new printer every time. Obviously this doesn't work for high end printers, but I don't have a need for a high end printer.

  • "We are not trying to make money on this"
    So why have they bothered? Maybe they are just showcasing a new technology for us?? How nice - thank you HP!!
  • Well... (Score:2, Funny)

    by 10101001011 (744876)
    and that consumers will win once the US dollar rises over Euro."

    So, I am never going to win?
  • by zmollusc (763634) on Thursday January 20, 2005 @06:14AM (#11417969)
    I would like to region code my money so that it cannot be used outside my home country. What's that? currency exchanges? I am sorry, but by accepting my payment you agree to the EULA on my cheque which forbids you from exchanging, transferring or otherwise distributing my money. You can keep my money but cannot transfer it to someone else. I also have a huge list of restrictions on how you can store and play with my money. There, that's fair isn't it?
  • by thrill12 (711899) * on Thursday January 20, 2005 @06:16AM (#11417982) Journal
    ...buy Canon next time...
    Buy Canon...

    This'll also save me time from taping of my 40ml black cartridges to use on my HP Deskjet 970C, instead of the default 20ml ones...
    • Except that Canon is outright hostile to Linux users [boycottcanon.com].

      Epson doesn't seem like a bad choice, however.

      Better yet, don't buy a new printer unless you absolutely need to, and if you can, buy a used one somewhere. Only HP's newer stuff will be region-coded, and you'll probably save money buying used. My printer, an HP DeskJet 832C, is quite a few years old and is still kicking--these things are fairly durable.
      • 1) I dunno - last time I bought Canon it had Linux drivers in the box.
        2) Epson's not a bad choice?! Well, if you are ok that it spits over a buck (IIRC) worth of ink every time it decides to clean the head...
  • . . .

    Off the top of my head, and with no real data, I just see this as an attempt at implementing exchange rate controls.

    HP is choosing to lock in an artifical rate, set effectivey by the disparity in localised prices.

    But in reality, much of that disparity stems from stock inventory which has been bought and financed at historic exchange rates.

    Not even large distributors can necessarily justify, manage or afford responsive hedeing programs.

    Is this a return to the labarynthine export and exchange quota
  • by DrSkwid (118965) on Thursday January 20, 2005 @06:17AM (#11417988) Homepage Journal

    As currency fluctuates there will *always* be winners and losers in this scheme.

    One year it's cheaper to import ink from the US at their price, the next cheaper for USians to import EU ink.

    What next? Region encoded GM rice ?

  • Comsumers lose (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Kjella (173770) on Thursday January 20, 2005 @06:18AM (#11417991) Homepage
    In the Wall Street Journal article HP representative in Europe claims (...) that consumers will win once the US dollar rises over Euro.

    I call bullshit on this. You always introduce regions to make consumers pay more than before (in total), hence the consumers lose. Naturally, some customers pay less than others (how else could it be price discrimination), but overall that is simply false.

    Kjella
    • Re:Comsumers lose (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Asic Eng (193332)
      The price will be set by supply and demand. If they use region coding it will limit the supply. There is no way for the customer to win, no matter what the exchange rate is.
      • ...the company looks at a demand/supply graph, and sets the supply (the part they do control) so that price (demand)*volume (supply) - cost is maximized. By splitting the market, they create two separate graphs instead of one cumulative graph. Then they do the same for each market.

        I'll illustrate with an example. Person A: +10$, B,C,D: +$2 to profits (at most). Now, in a single market, you would have price 10, volume 1 and profit 10 (since all would buy at the same price, and 4*$2 < $10).

        If you can spl
  • Since printers are $50,- these days anyways, it's still cheaper to bulk import them from overseas and also get the overseas cartridges while we're at it.


  • Inkjet ink has got to be one of the biggest scams of recent times. No wonder spammers seem so enamored with it.
  • consumers will win once the US dollar rises over Eueo

    Which is code words for

    "The people who buy our products are incredibly stupid schmucks that will buy anything we say."
  • You know... (Score:2, Funny)

    by Slowleggs (604433)
    this really inks me.
  • consumers will win once the US dollar rises over Euro

    Yeah, right after pigs start flying.

    Robert
  • . . .

    The company introduced region-coding on several printers in the summer so it won't have to keep altering prices to keep pace with currency movements, says Kim Holm, vice president for H-P's supplies business in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

    And i thought when Carly took over at HP she rolled out the worlds most sophisticated SAP system to integrate their whole supply chain?

    You mean HP can't write a script in SAP Financials?

    Geez, where's that calculator division when you need a 17BII handy.
  • by salesgeek (263995)
    HP are monopolist wannabees. They aren't big enough to pull this off. They also have enough competition that it won't take long for buyers to wise up -- and with the price of printers so low (1000 for the color laser) and toner so high (750 for a full round of consumables) it's not like the economic incentive is there for people to stay locked into HP.

    Carly is an idiot who is rearranging the furnitre on deck while the ship is taking on water from hitting an iceberg years ago.
  • ...and that consumers will win once... (the dollar, the weather, the aliens from outer space etc. - take your pick of conditions and excuses)

    Wasn't the key tenet that we all stood to gain most from free rein for the IT industry (and low standards of protection against "hidden features" like these for the consumers?), free trade and globalisation, no matter what?
    (Of course one could say "at least it's not anti-competitive", because with the manufacturers' de-facto monopolies on cartridges, competition in

  • "HP representative in Europe claims the company doesn't make any money off regional coding for cartridges, and that consumers will win once the US dollar rises over Euro." Translation: Yes, we are screwing you, but hey, in while we'll screw somebody else!
  • I've got a Xerox Phaser 8200 [xerox.com] (now superceded by the 8400 [xerox.com]) which would be virtually impossible to pull a "region code" trick on... the ink comes in solid blocks that just slot into the top of the printer - no cartridge at all, and no waste.

  • Four or five years from now.

    • Thanks Mr. Bush.
  • HP reports record losses! Dump those shares now everyone.
  • Buy CANON (Score:3, Informative)

    by Spy Handler (822350) on Thursday January 20, 2005 @06:57AM (#11418167) Homepage Journal
    PC Magazine had a poll thing where readers submit ratings for various makes of printers. HP was rated WORST when it comes to "How satisfied are you with replacement ink prices?" Cannon came out best.

    They had a blurb quoting a few prices for HP ink and Canon ink, and Canon was almost half the price of HP ink. (I wish I could find the damn magazine so I can quote exact numbers.... gotta clean my room)

  • by ahodgkinson (662233) on Thursday January 20, 2005 @07:01AM (#11418184) Homepage Journal
    HP is doing this because they feel that the economic damage caused by bad PR will be less that the regained 'lost profits' caused by geographical arbitrage [softxs.ch]. Corporations do this because they think it makes them more money. They want to be globalized on the cost side, but not allow their customers the same access to the benefits of globalization.

    In short, HP has calculated that region coding their cartridges will pay. And it will, unless the public creates enough commotion to affect their bottom line and force a rethink of the region coding.

    HP is restricting free the use of products that I own (or in this case, am likely to buy). As a proponent of Open Source I feel this is wrong. If you feel the same way, make your voice heard, either by boycotting the infringing products or helping to create awareness of these bad business practices.

  • Globalisation (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Siener (139990) on Thursday January 20, 2005 @07:02AM (#11418190) Homepage
    This move by HP is asinine for many reasons, but one has not been brought up in the comments so far:

    On the one hand big companies and corporations are lobbying governments to lessen trade restrictions and import/export taxes so that they can benefit from cheap production costs in other countries. Then on the other hand, they add restrictions themselves so that they can still sell the items at high prices. They make sure that they benefit and not the customer.

    Try are trying to have their globalisation cake and eat it.
  • by Biotech9 (704202) on Thursday January 20, 2005 @07:03AM (#11418194) Homepage
    In other News....


    Warren Buffett sees no way but down for US dollar

    The dollar cannot avoid further declines against other major currencies unless the US trade and current account deficits improve, legendary investor and businessman Warren Buffett said.

    "I think, over time, unless we have a major change in trade policies, I don't see how the dollar avoids going down," the world's second-richest individual told CNBC television.

    "I don't know when it happens. I don't have any idea whether it will be this month or this year or next year, but we are force-feeding dollars on to the rest of the world at the rate of close to a couple billion dollars a day, and that's going to weigh on the dollar."

    Buffett noted the record US deficit of 164.7 billion dollars in the third quarter of 2004 in the current account, which measures trade and investment flows.
  • by archeopterix (594938) * on Thursday January 20, 2005 @08:00AM (#11418447) Journal
    ... to invest in a continuous flow system. CFSes exist for all of the popular printers out there. Once you buy and install one you only pay for ink. Yes, ink, not cartridges. You buy by the bottle and since ink is practically a commodity there's no artificial monopoly to screw you. Warranty, schmarranty - you can buy a brand new printer with the money saved.
  • by philkerr (180450) on Thursday January 20, 2005 @08:37AM (#11418682) Homepage
    As usual, instead of moaning here, get in touch with HP and let them know what you think of this move.

    Email regarding advertising (marketing people will take notice about bad PR).
    http://www.hp.com/hpinfo/newsroom/hpads/contactus. html [hp.com]

    Email Carly (probably /dev/null but you never know).
    http://www.hp.com/hpinfo/execteam/email/fiorina/in dex.html [hp.com]

  • by Stavr0 (35032) on Thursday January 20, 2005 @10:49AM (#11419982) Homepage Journal
    (all prices in CAD$)

    Used laser printer at your neighborhood: $100-$150
    Recycled toner cartridge: $50
    Average # of pages per toner refill: 1000
    Price of one black and white printout: 0.05$
    Price of one digital camera picture on real photographic paper: 0.25$

    Generic inkjet printer: $100-$150
    Ink cartridges, black+colour: $60
    'photo quality' glossy 4x6 paper, 50 sheets: $20
    Average # of pages per ink refill: 250
    Average # of color prints per ink refill: 50
    Price of one black and white printout: 0.24$
    Price of one color printout on glossy paper: 1.60$

    Conclusion: Inkjet are for suckers. Flame away.

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