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Apple Printers?

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
Having just gone into battle with our copier/printer (some sort of Sharp device), I was thinking how nice it would be if Apple made a printer. I know they used to, back before I became an Apple user, but it would be nice to see a printer that's as simple to use as the rest of their stuff.

Every other printer I've used seems to be packed with "features" that just make it confusing to use.

What do you think? I'm pretty sure it wouldn't happen, given it's not exactly a growth market, but there are a lot of areas I'd like to see Apples sensible approach to useability, and this is one of them.
post #2 of 19
Yea - they've been there - done that.
No need for Apple to revisit that market segment.

Competitive as hell - low margin.
edit: err, apart from the consumables. Quite a bit of fat there.
But no they won't go back.
post #3 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by RobM View Post

Yea - they've been there - done that.
No need for Apple to revisit that market segment.

Competitive as hell - low margin.
edit: err, apart from the consumables. Quite a bit of fat there.
But no they won't go back.

Why not? I actually think this is an area where Apple should go back, especially since photography has become such an important part of a mac's capabilities. The brand is easily strong enough to support a range of printers.

Besides that, every time we buy toner cartridges for HP or Canon printers we get ripped-off. I mean seriously ripped-off. It makes me mad. Colour lasers aren't very green. Solid inks are better, but the print quality isn't quite there yet. I am sure Apple could push technology in this area.

I'd love to see Apple develop a range of really high quality printers:
1. A5 Photo printers for printing images from iPhoto
2. A4 Colour laser/ solid ink printer for high quality documents and presentations
3. A3 Colour laser / solid ink printer for high quality documents and presentations

If Apple charged fair prices and took the CON out consumables; If they promised a game changing device; and if they dramatically cut the cost of inks - then the Apple faithful would flock to buy an apple printer.

They'd force HP, Canon and Epson to cut their prices and guess what everyone benefits. It might even encourage HP to start innovating again, something they haven't done since they introduced the HP-12C calculator.

If you're happy paying 3x more for your inks than you need to, add your 2c worth to this discussion. Hopefully, someone at Apple will hear us...
post #4 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tailpipe View Post

Why not? I actually think this is an area where Apple should go back, especially since photography has become such an important part of a mac's capabilities. The brand is easily strong enough to support a range of printers.

Besides that, every time we buy toner cartridges for HP or Canon printers we get ripped-off. I mean seriously ripped-off. It makes me mad. Colour lasers aren't very green. Solid inks are better, but the print quality isn't quite there yet. I am sure Apple could push technology in this area.

I'd love to see Apple develop a range of really high quality printers:
1. A5 Photo printers for printing images from iPhoto
2. A4 Colour laser/ solid ink printer for high quality documents and presentations
3. A3 Colour laser / solid ink printer for high quality documents and presentations

If Apple charged fair prices and took the CON out consumables; If they promised a game changing device; and if they dramatically cut the cost of inks - then the Apple faithful would flock to buy an apple printer.

They'd force HP, Canon and Epson to cut their prices and guess what everyone benefits. It might even encourage HP to start innovating again, something they haven't done since they introduced the HP-12C calculator.

If you're happy paying 3x more for your inks than you need to, add your 2c worth to this discussion. Hopefully, someone at Apple will hear us...

Oh, please. Another post that begging Apple to lose money. Today printers are so cheap and their ink cartridges are so expensive that people buy printers, use them until the ink runs out, and then buy a new printer.

Look. Apple is not in business to prevent someone else from ripping you off. Apple is in business to make money. HP, Epson, Canon, and others make money by selling ink or toner. Apple does not exist in a parallel universe where it can earn a profit on $50 laser printers and $5 toner.

It is time to wake up. You will be late for school.
post #5 of 19
@Mr Me,

Don't be such a grouch! HP makes a serious amount of money on printers - that's why it makes them. It's a valid business. What makes you think Apple would lose money on printers? Just because it didn't go so well last time they did them, doesn't mean they couldn't do something innovative in this area. Hey, the last time they produced a handheld, Newton, that didn't go so well either.

As for buying a new printer when the toner runs out, it's time for you to wake up. HP now supplies toner cartridges with reduced amounts of toner in them when you buy a new printer, forcing you to buy their full and very expensive toner cartridges.

Saying that Apple can't make money with printers is like saying Apple can't innovate. I am not asking Apple to copy what the existing players are already doing, but to do something better. I accept that printers are not core to Apple's business, but neither are accessories such as iPad covers. Apple made them, because they thought they could do a better job than anyone else.

Apple is a consumer champion. That's part of the power and appeal of its brand. When you make life easier for customers, that's what makes most money.

(BTW, I find your response mildly offensive. Don't be so rude when you post stuff, you don't know who I am or what I do. Treat people with the respect that you'd like them to treat you with.)
post #6 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tailpipe View Post

HP makes a serious amount of money on INK - that's why it makes them.

Fixed.

Quote:
As for buying a new printer when the toner runs out, it's time for you to wake up.

IIIIINK. You'd be a fool to buy a new laser when the toner runs out. Buying a new printer when the ink runs out is common practice.

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone] exists, it doesn’t deserve to.
Reply

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone] exists, it doesn’t deserve to.
Reply
post #7 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tailpipe View Post

...

Saying that Apple can't make money with printers is like saying Apple can't innovate. I am not asking Apple to copy what the existing players are already doing, but to do something better. ...

These are the same comments that people make when they advocate that Apple jump back into other markets that it abandoned.
  • Apple needs to bring out a new TV set. The price of TV sets drop by 25% before you get out the door with them. Oh no, Apple can innovate. It will just sprinkle its magic pixie dust and--SHAZAM---profits!
  • Apple needs to bring out a new digital camera. There are many players in the business that manufacture great digital cameras. that take spectacular pictures. Oh, but no digital camera can be as good as an Apple digital camera. Apple will sprinkle its magic pixie dust and--SHAZAM--the perfect companion for my MacBook.
  • Apple ... printer ... innovation--SHAZAM--whatever.
Look, a printer puts text and graphics on paper [and other things]. Do you expect Apple to have a breakthrough in paper? As for printers, Apple revolutionized them with its ImageWriter I and especially its ImageWriter II. Its LaserWriter created an industry and played a significant role in the founding of Adobe, the company that many Mac users love to hate.

In case you hadn't heard, just last year (2010) Apple brought to market a spectacular innovation in "printing." The innovation is called the "iPad." It was in all the papers.

Apple is about the next big thing, not about the last big thing or the big thing three or four big things ago. I have two Xerox Phasers. I love them. I will let Xerox make my printers. I want Apple to make the things that I have not even thought of.
post #8 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Me View Post

These are the same comments that people make when they advocate that Apple jump back into other markets that it abandoned.
  • Apple needs to bring out a new TV set. The price of TV sets drop by 25% before you get out the door with them. Oh no, Apple can innovate. It will just sprinkle its magic pixie dust and--SHAZAM---profits!
  • Apple needs to bring out a new digital camera. There are many players in the business that manufacture great digital cameras. that take spectacular pictures. Oh, but no digital camera can be as good as an Apple digital camera. Apple will sprinkle its magic pixie dust and--SHAZAM--the perfect companion for my MacBook.
  • Apple ... printer ... innovation--SHAZAM--whatever.
Look, a printer puts text and graphics on paper [and other things]. Do you expect Apple to have a breakthrough in paper? As for printers, Apple revolutionized them with its ImageWriter I and especially its ImageWriter II. Its LaserWriter created an industry and played a significant role in the founding of Adobe, the company that many Mac users love to hate.

In case you hadn't heard, just last year (2010) Apple brought to market a spectacular innovation in "printing." The innovation is called the "iPad." It was in all the papers.

Apple is about the next big thing, not about the last big thing or the big thing three or four big things ago. I have two Xerox Phasers. I love them. I will let Xerox make my printers. I want Apple to make the things that I have not even thought of.

I'm kinda with Tailpipe on this subject. Your obituary for paper documents is premature. We still need to print stuff. Period.

In case you hadn't noticed, people love to have photos of their families and friends in fancy frames to decorate their homes. I have literally thousands of photos on my Mac and no real way to print them. Most inkjet photo printers aren't that great and stuff I printed using what was meant to be a dedicated photo printer, an HP inkjet, 3 or 4 years ago are starting to fade or degrade. That sucks.

There has to be a better solution than the printing technologies we have at the moment. If you have Xerox phasers, I assume you have the solid ink variety? They're okay, but the output isn't as sharp as an HP LaserJet 2020, for example.

If HP makes money on ink, why shouldn't Apple, especially if Apple makes a better type of ink. New printing technologies are not low tech. on the contrary, they're high tech and very difficult to get right.

And you know what, Apple agrees with me, because they're already in the printing business - you can upload your pictures to Apple's photo printing website and get bound albums.
post #9 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by crocodile View Post

I'm kinda with Tailpipe on this subject. Your obituary for paper documents is premature. ...

At no point did I say that paper documents are dead although they are for many applications. What I said or at least implied is that printers are commodities that have recently become disposable commodities.

Gillette did not survive the era of throwaway razors. What makes people think that Apple can survive the era of throwaway printers if it gets back into the printer business? Oh, yes. Magic Apple pixie dust.
post #10 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmychristian View Post

Only in the fight with our copier/printer (some kind of sharp device) gone, I was thinking it would be as good, if Apple made a printer. ...

There are excellent and easy-to-use printers on the market now. Be an educated consumer. Do your research before you buy.
post #11 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Me View Post

Oh, please. Another post that begging Apple to lose money. Today printers are so cheap and their ink cartridges are so expensive that people buy printers, use them until the ink runs out, and then buy a new printer.

Look. Apple is not in business to prevent someone else from ripping you off. Apple is in business to make money. HP, Epson, Canon, and others make money by selling ink or toner. Apple does not exist in a parallel universe where it can earn a profit on $50 laser printers and $5 toner.

It is time to wake up. You will be late for school.

I actually did that recently. My Epson printer I had ran out of black and colored ink. The total cost to buy new ink for it was going to cost me $120! So I ended up picking up a $40 all-in-one canon printer. Works just as well, and I got a whole new printer plus ink.

It is cheaper to buy a new printer these days than the ink. The ink for my current printer for black and color comes out to $50. Ten dollars less and I can buy a whole new printer again, hah.

I don't think Apple should start making their own printers again like they use to. I don't see the point in it simply because they really don't need to.
post #12 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by muffinss View Post

I actually did that recently. My Epson printer I had ran out of black and colored ink. The total cost to buy new ink for it was going to cost me $120! So I ended up picking up a $40 all-in-one canon printer. Works just as well, and I got a whole new printer plus ink.

It is cheaper to buy a new printer these days than the ink. The ink for my current printer for black and color comes out to $50. Ten dollars less and I can buy a whole new printer again, hah.

I don't think Apple should start making their own printers again like they use to. I don't see the point in it simply because they really don't need to.

This is the most absurd thing I've read since the ridiculous Mr. Me said that Gilette got owned by disposable razors. (Gilette is minting money with people buying replacement blades for its line-up of non-disposable razors with disposable blades as well as with its own line-up of disposable razors that seem to better than everyone else's.)

Most of the smart printer companies realise that selling printers for less than the cost of replacement cartridges is insane. Few do it. HP certainly doesn't do it, not in California, nor New York, last time I was there. I guess I could replace my $500 colour laser jet printer with a much cheaper $200 Epson; but while I might save money, the print quality would be lame.

Xerox solid ink printers are great new technology and do save you money. Sadly, the print quality isn't quite what it needs to be. Also, have you seen the size of these printers. They're enormous. There is room for something new in this area, you Luddites.
post #13 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by crocodile View Post

This is the most absurd thing I've read since the ridiculous Mr. Me said that Gilette got owned by disposable razors. ...

Whether or not it is absurd is not at issue. What is at issue is that printers are now disposable commodities. FWIW, I own two Xerox Phaser solid ink printers, a Phaser 8400DN and a Phaser 8550DN. I absolutely love them. To replace one with a comparable model would hit me up for $700, about 1/10 of the price of a color laser printer from a few years ago and not much more than a medium line inkjet of the same era. In fact, I have paid more for top-of-the-line inkjet printers. The thing that you don't seem to understand is that I may be willing to pay this kind of money for a printer. You may be willing to pay this kind of money. However, a growing fraction of the buying public is not. muffinss's decision to buy a $40 printer at a price less than the ink cost in his old printer is a powerful testament to the forces driving the market. You may not track market trends, but Apple does. There is no way in heck that Apple will get into this market.

As for Gillette, you really need to read the paper--or better yet--the business section of your favorite paper's website. The Gillette that I grew-up with and that you knew much of your life is gone. Gillette is now a brand of Proctor & Gamble just like CoverGirl and Ivory Soap.
post #14 of 19
It might be nice, there doesn't seem to be a single near perfect printer out there. However, I can think of myriad reasons why they would not bother. Like others have mentioned, they've been there before, and its not Apple style to release low margin products like printers. Many companies like HP sell printers at a loss, and make profits on overcharging for ink by a few hundred percent. Its like Gillette fusion razors, they sell the handles for a loss so you buy refills for life at a 5000% markup. Besides, Apple are focusing more and more on portables rather than desktop macs nowadays.

Long story short, it might be nice, but it 'aint going to happen.
post #15 of 19
Hi y'all, any recommendations for sub $200 printers? I Don't need, or want, an all in one, but would like to print pretty, not perfect, photos on the cheap?
Thanks
Larry
Here are some of my photos. crazycar.com
post #16 of 19
I've been hoping for an Apple printer for a long time now. With Lion's new server and AirDrop features, it would be especially powerful and simple to use an Apple printer. Drag and drop a file to the printer via AirDrop and it wakes up from low power sleep automatically to print. Hold command while dropping the file for an options pop up menu. It should work flawlessly with wireless (maybe through bluetooth?). All my printers and their little wireless servers are such a pain. They don't work like I want them to.
post #17 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chiisuchianu View Post

I've been hoping for an Apple printer for a long time now. With Lion's new server and AirDrop features, it would be especially powerful and simple to use an Apple printer. Drag and drop a file to the printer via AirDrop and it wakes up from low power sleep automatically to print. Hold command while dropping the file for an options pop up menu. It should work flawlessly with wireless (maybe through bluetooth?). All my printers and their little wireless servers are such a pain. They don't work like I want them to.

This is a good point. But my reason for wanting Apple to make a printer is different. I love Xerox's solid ink technology: it is a very clever, green solution that also happens to be economical in terms of ink resupplies. However, print quality simply isn't as crisp as HP's latest range of colour laser jets. i heartily dislike HP's bulky ink cartridges. They also cost more than the national debt of a small Caribbean nation.

I'd like Apple to produce an A4 printer with a small footprint and low weight, that uses a clever, proprietary ink system that is easy and inexpensive to replace, that produces ultra high quality photo prints on fine photo stock, that will last decades instead of fading within 18 months, that looks cool, and with costs that don't make me feel as I've been (expletive deleted).
post #18 of 19
It's old technology that is waiting to be replaced. The way we print right now is wrong because it's unreliable and expensive - toners, imaging drums, margin/bleed errors, paper jams, one page at a time, different output from what you see on-screen based on paper/ink type.

Now imagine instead a box full of a new type of paper. This paper has ink particles embedded in it. Each page has a transparent conducting layer and simply touching the corner of a page, transmits an electrical signal to rearrange the configuration of the ink droplets inside the paper.

A vertically moving element inside the box just clips the corner of each page and prints hundreds of sheets in seconds. No paper jams, no moving parts, no print errors because it's like a computer display so the mapping is exact, the colour output can be determined precisely and pages are reusable so very environmentally-friendly. For permanent prints, a small battery can be placed on a container for the paper e.g in a frame.

The technology exists in the form of e-ink displays to do this sort of thing although it's not quite suitable yet but my point is that some things you can look at and see ways to improve them in the economics and minor details and some things you can see that they are fundamentally flawed and just not get involved.

Apple could have built a standard mobile phone with great tariffs but that's not what needed to be done.
post #19 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

It's old technology that is waiting to be replaced. The way we print right now is wrong because it's unreliable and expensive - toners, imaging drums, margin/bleed errors, paper jams, one page at a time, different output from what you see on-screen based on paper/ink type.

Now imagine instead a box full of a new type of paper. This paper has ink particles embedded in it. Each page has a transparent conducting layer and simply touching the corner of a page, transmits an electrical signal to rearrange the configuration of the ink droplets inside the paper.

A vertically moving element inside the box just clips the corner of each page and prints hundreds of sheets in seconds. No paper jams, no moving parts, no print errors because it's like a computer display so the mapping is exact, the colour output can be determined precisely and pages are reusable so very environmentally-friendly. For permanent prints, a small battery can be placed on a container for the paper e.g in a frame.

The technology exists in the form of e-ink displays to do this sort of thing although it's not quite suitable yet but my point is that some things you can look at and see ways to improve them in the economics and minor details and some things you can see that they are fundamentally flawed and just not get involved.

Apple could have built a standard mobile phone with great tariffs but that's not what needed to be done.

Excellent post, Marvin. You captured exactly what I was thinking when I first replied to this thread post, but described the kind of innovation I hope Apple will produce in this space much more eloquently than I.
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