Latest Despicable Trick by HP Exposed
HP has found a new way to update the firmware of their printers in order to lock out third-party or aftermarket toner cartridges.
The scam has been found out by an industry whistleblower who informed RT Media.
“HP has launched a new range of W1106A/106A cartridges,” the whistleblower said. “These cartridges are embedded with a chip that can trigger a firmware update of the laser printer without the need of the internet.”
The HP W1106A/106A cartridges are used with HP Laser MFP 135a/135w/137fnw and HP Laser 107a/107w series of printers.
The HP original cartridges are being trialled firstly in Italy. Once the cartridge is installed in the printer it communicates with that printer and updates the firmware of the printer. The result is that third-party supplies can no longer be used. The consumer is forced to continue purchasing and using the more expensive HP original cartridge.
In Italy, the newly available HP W1106A/106A series of cartridges update the printer once installed. Any aftermarket products containing a replacement chip is unrecognised by printers that have encountered a firmware update or upgrade. An error message, “Cartridge Problem” pops up on the printer’s display screen and the message “C2-151A” is displayed on the monitor of the attached computer.”
The whistleblower expects similar products with the same technical performance for use in HP printers may be rolled out to other regions shortly.
Globally, the HP models in question include:
- the HP Laser 103a, 107 series and 108 monochrome single function laser printers;
- the HP Laser 131a, 133np, 135 series and 136 series of monochrome laser multifunction printers;
- the HP Color Laser 105a, 150 series of color single-function laser printers, and
- the HP Color Laser M178nw and 179fnw color laser multifunction printers.
The monochrome devices use the following cartridges:
- W1003AC (103A) and W1110A (110A) in China;
- W1105A (105A) in the Americas;
- W1106A (106A) in EMEA (Europe, the Middle East and Africa);
- W1107A (107A) in Asia Pacific excluding China and India.
The color devices use the following cartridges:
- W2060A, W2061A, W2062A, W2063A (116A) in the Americas;
- W2070A, W2071A, W2072A, W2073A (117A) in EMEA;
- W2080A, W2081A, W2082A, W2083A (118A) in China and India;
- W2090A, W2091A, W2092A, W2093A (119A) in Asia Pacific;
This lock-out strategy using data-in-a-chip embedded on the printer cartridge which communicates with, and updates the printer is probably a first for HP. But it’s not the first time it has been done by a printer OEM. Allegedly, back in 2018, Samsung used the same strategy with its printers. Samsung Electronics’s printing division, including its printer-related intellectual property, was acquired by HP in November 2017 for US$1.05 billion.
On March 17 2020, HP released a new round of “killer chip” firmware in America during the COVID-19 shutdown. The new firmware shuts off printers when it detects a non-HP cartridge, which frustrates thousands of office workers, students, teachers and other forced to work at home during the current coronavirus crisis as well as their cartridge suppliers alike. The affected printer models include the Officejet 8710 and the Officejet 6978. Those affected cartridges are the HP952 and 902.
HP’s action angered International Imaging Technology Committee (Int’l ITC). In response, the Int’l ITC filed a complaint against HP, Inc. with the Green Electronics Council over HP’s new “killer chip” firmware, claiming it violates environmental standards to which HP had agreed to adhere.
HP has been sued several times in various places due to firmware updates.
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