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How does Konica Minolta stack up as a printer?

Konica Minolta have long been known as a manufacturer of high spec cameras and after a quick look under the hood you can quickly see how their superiority in quality cameras and optics directly translates to the quality of their printers.

Many people have never heard of Konica Minolta Miami, or at least they don’t think they have. Although the company may have gone off the radar screen for a while they are actually quite popular and definitely famous. They are best known for developing the auto focus lens now used on most cameras, regardless of brand. For the longest time the company traded simply as Minolta, in 2003 they merged with Konica to form Konica Minolta. In 2006 the imaging part of the company was disposed of to Sony and now Konica Minolta now has turned their full attention to printer and copier products.

Konica Minolta Miami now focus exclusively on high end machines that have the ability to copy, print and scan. The products range from copiers which produce as few as 28 pages per minute up to a blazing 65 copies per minute. These machines are rapidly gaining traction in small, medium and large offices for print quality and machine reliability are of paramount importance.

Recently Konica Minolta has been exploring opportunities put forward thorough distribution agreements with other quality manufacturers. Two recent developments are with Kodak and Raber + Marckler of Stuttgart. The Kodak agreement gives both companies access to each other’s cut sheet digital printing systems and the agreement with Raber + Marckler gives Konica Minolta an 80% shareholding in a company that is the market leader in Business process Consultancy. It is expected that this strategic acquisition will open new doors for Konica Minolta where they can easily leverage their commanding presence in Optimized Print Services. The arrangement comfortably covers both IT and print solutions to enterprise clients.

The arrangement with Kodak on the other hand allows Konica Minolta to capitalize on Kodak’s myriad of experiences in the mid to high range curt sheet printing market and it gives Kodak access to the high quality light to mid range cut sheet printing products of Konica Minolta. The arrangement gives Kodak the right to promote a wide variety of Konica Minolta products in the United States and it allows Konica Minolta to continue selling and promoting the Kodak range of products in Australia, Europe and Japan.

There is little doubt that shifting gears into the copy and print market was a very well thought out strategic move. The competition in optics has turned this market into low revenue, low profit environment as a result of the photo capabilities of cell phones and inexpensive digital SLR cameras.

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