A New Entry in the Zone of Disruption: The Canon Océ VarioPrint i200
Many of you will be familiar with the phrase “the Zone of Disruption.” InfoTrends has been using it to describe an interesting gap that has formed between two product classes: cut-sheet, toner-based printers and roll-fed inkjet printing systems. The roll-fed inkjet models are extremely productive, but also carry with them a price tag of more than $1 million. The cut-sheet, toner-based products are much more affordable, but typically don’t offer speeds much faster than 150 pages per minute. InfoTrends defined the Zone of Disruption as an opportunity for products with price points below $1 million, speed faster than most electrophotographic cut-sheet color printers, very competitive running costs, and production-oriented features (such as integrated finishing and advanced front ends). A handful of products have appeared in the Zone of Disruption over the past few years, and recently, a new one joined the fray: Canon’s Océ VarioPrint i200.
In most ways, the VarioPrint i200 is very much like the i300. It looks like it, has the same footprint, and virtually all of the same features. Two aspects differentiate the two products. The i200 runs at 194 letter size pages-per-minute (ppm) and the i300 runs at 294 ppm. There is also a significant price differential. Canon reports that the i200 is priced 20% below the i300. Although Canon did not announce pricing, InfoTrends expects that this would put the list price of the i200 at somewhere between $600,000 and $650,000. The i200 will be available in the U.S. in June through Canon Solutions America. The two products now form a product family that Canon is referring to as the Océ VarioPrint i-Series.
Concurrent with its i200 news, Canon also announced MICR capability for the i200 and i300, as well as a next generation of the PRISMAsync controller. For more information, see the press release.
Canon says that the Océ VarioPrint i200 bridges the gap between its 100-ppm, toner-based imagePRESS C10000 and the 294-ppm inkjet Océ VarioPrint i300. The market will see more such positioning as vendors with products in the Zone of Disruption try to balance the benefits of their inkjet and toner-based models.
It is InfoTrends’ expectation that in the next five years or so a continuum of inkjet products will extend from very fast and affordable light production offerings all the way through behemoth cut-sheet models capable of millions of impressions a month and on up to more affordable roll-fed models. All of these will be at an acquisition price point less than $1 million and with ever-increasing levels of quality (plus the ability to print across a range of substrate types, including coated papers). These products will present a significant challenge to the cut-sheet color toner-based market, and yet, toner devices will continue to provide value through strong print quality, affordable acquisition price, and very broad substrate range.