Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Panasonics Exit from A3 Devices "P4P Hotel Comments"

The news of Panasonic's decision to stop manufacturing A3 devices (systems that are capable of printing or copying 11x17) kinda came as a surprise for me. If anything, I thought that they would sell the MFP division and or just drop out entirely.

I can remember a blog I did on the new Panasonic A4 device a few months ago. The Panasonic DP-MB350 is equipped with a document feeder and two paper trays, network scanner, scan2email, ethernet print and a fax. What was unique about this system was the MSRP at or around $1,500. Just maybe Pansonic too has seen the writing on the wall and will continue to invest R & D, along with a ton of cash into the booming A4 market. Just a thought!

Anyway here's some great comments from Print4Pay Hotel Members in reference to Panasonic electing to stop manufacturing A3 devices:

These units are proven reliable machines in the congested 20 - 30 ppm colour MFP space, so aren't they worth anything to anybody? Surely a smaller player or somebody currently not in the space could do well with a proven performer.

This is like GM closing Pontiac and Saturn instead of selling them. Nuts.
from Clinton in Canada

Yes, they are very dependable and reliable boxes. There were rated #1 by JD Powers and Associates in 2006 and 2008 for color. They brought features to the table that at the time back in 2008 were some hot commodities. We beat Ricoh, KM, Xerox, Canon machines everyday with these boxes. I have customers that swear by these boxes. The problem for many years is that Panasonic has been very slow to bring out anything new and slowed down on the R&D side. I could never figure out why they had sparse showings in certain market segments. I think Panasonic was shooting for the majority of potential customers needs. They had.....go here for more  from Montecore in US

I read the article on limewire and it stated the factory in Japan is ceasing to manufacture A3's guess thats it for the US market also!! AP in New Jersey

The letter has hit US Dealers, as I have been informed. D Morgan in Pittsburgh

In mid-January Panasonic notified its major Chinese copier resellers and distributors that it will withdraw from the market following the 2010 Asian Olympic Games in November 2010. This is about as official as it gets without a public announcement. A mole in CA

The most notable thing about Panasonic's exit is that it left without being acquired. Is that stage two of the consolidation process? Maybe stage 1B. First is acquisitions, then drop outs. Another Mole in NV

I'm thinking we haven't heard the last from Panasonic for some strange reason...............

Need more chatter, take a trip to the P4Photel

-=Good Selling=-


Art Post said...

Just picked this up today, seems my thinking has caught on at Panasonic and thoughts are A4 will be bigger than A3 by 2012!! WOOHOO!

Panasonic Takes Aim at Fast-Growing A4 Class MFP Market

Company to emphasize growing A4 MFP format in response to customer demands

SECAUCUS, NJ (February 4, 2010) — Panasonic System Networks Company of America today announced plans to substantially increase its footprint in the burgeoning market for A4 multi-function products. The A4 market has undergone rapid growth and is emerging as the de facto standard in the marketplace. As a consequence the A3 market has been fading and will no longer be a focus for Panasonic going forward. Based on internal Panasonic research the A4 market is projected to be dominant by 2012 and account for the majority of imaging devices sold.

According to Product Specialist for MFP/Fax Joseph Odore, the product mix realignment is based on Panasonic's long-standing commitment to proactively fulfilling channel partner and end user requirements by responding to changes in market dynamics in a timely and decisive manner.

"All the relevant indices -- leased machine levels, printed page volume, and overall sales of new machines -- make it clear that A3 MFPs are already, or soon will be, a legacy document format and that A4 MFPs are swiftly becoming the lineup that will best serve our customers’ needs for the beginning of this decade and the foreseeable future,” Odore said.

As a leading manufacturer of document imaging products, Panasonic has an unparalleled ability to turn on a dime in response to customer demands. Designing, engineering and building its own machines and most of the internal components in Panasonic-owned research centers and factories makes adjusting supply-side capabilities to reflect demand-side changes significantly easier for Panasonic than for competitors dependent on 'white box' vendors for their products.

A document-products industry leader for more than four decades, Panasonic also announced that it will continue production of current A3 MFP models through Q1 of 2011 and parts and consumables for those products through Q1 of 2018, respectively to insure customer support as the A4 market rises to dominance. In addition technical and hardware support will be provided through at least Q1 of 2018.

Production, distribution, and future expansion of Panasonic’s award-winning line of best-in-class front office and enterprise scanners, A4 multifunction printers, business fax machines, and advanced interactive whiteboards will be unaffected by the shift in MFP marketing focus. Panasonic reseller and customer support will also be unaffected by the change in MFP business strategy.

"Basically, Panasonic will concentrate our R&D on the future of the MFP market, which is the A4," Odore added. "Since Panasonic's current A3 MFPs are high-performance, mature products with an expansive list of cutting-edge features and a legendary reputation for ease of maintenance and durability, we decided the future growth of our MFP line and its dealers would be best served by tightly focusing on the A4 class devices."

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