Top 10 News Stories of 2021 Revealed
We have continued to witness change in our world during the year. So, what were the top 10 news stories that impacted printing consumables in 2021?
RT published thousands of news stories in five languages during the year—in English, Chinese, Spanish, Russian and Arabic. And we simply looked at the ten you clicked on the most during the year.
The countdown from No 10 is as follows:
- 10. Starting at number 10 comes the October 15 story that a federal judge in California has ruled that most of the class action allegations filed by printer owners against HP, can go ahead. The claims against HP were first filed in December 2020 alleging HP had transmitted firmware updates without authorization to their HP printers through the Internet.
- 9. Costco closed its ink refilling services in all of its 800 stores back in February of this year. The American multinational corporation, which was the fifth-largest retailer in the world in 2020, claimed the demand for the service had significantly diminished thanks to smartphones.
- 8. On January 5, Canon said it was quitting its dispute with Ninestar over allegedly infringing cartridges in the US saying Ninestar had agreed to stop infringing. At the same time, Ninestar said it was an amicable resolution and claimed it had done nothing wrong.
- 7. In March, we revealed HP had opened a channel in their chip design, firmware and driver package that sends information back to HP, without the knowledge of its customers. HP claims the data being collected about the cartridge being used, whether it is original or aftermarket is to provide security for the end-user.
- 6. Ten of China’s 23 provinces ordered large and small factories to switch off the power supply in September as the central government strengthened its control on carbon emissions management. In Zhuhai and neighboring Zhongshan, small-and-medium factories ran for one day and stopped for six days each week, while large factories ran for two days then stopped for five days.
- 5. COVID-19 and the introduction of 5G technologies are both being blamed for the ongoing global chip shortage crisis. There have been dramatic supply chain price increases on the wafers, PCB boards, battery materials and packaging materials, as well as production cost pressures, and delivery delays up to four months.
- 4. Supply chains, mostly in South Korea were shocked when HP pulled the plug on making its printers in China. HP had previously picked up the Chinese operations as part of the acquisition deal with Samsung having acquired its patents and operations in 2017.
- 3. IDC’s Shirley Ba told participants at RemaxWorld Expo in Zhuhai in September that there are NO signs of recovery or improvement in the printer supply chain within the short term. She said inkjet and laser printer shipments in most regions, including China and Japan, have been bounced back to or exceeded the level in the second quarter of 2019. IDC also predicts total page volumes will decline in 2023 due to digitalization, with both inkjet and laser printer installations also dropping 5% in China through to 2025.
- 2. I would have thought that the raft of takedowns by Canon of allegedly infringing cartridges sold on Amazon would have been a top 10 story in 2021. But it wasn’t. However, HP’s warnings on its websites that firmware updates will lock out aftermarket cartridges attracted a lot of attention.
- 1. Ricoh unveiled an ambitious shift away from paper and into the digital realm back in March and our website went crazy with the news. The Japanese-based maker of copiers, printers and faxes said it will transform into a digital services provider. According to a Bloomberg report, Ricoh’s investors cheered the move, with the stock surging 16% in Tokyo on a single day despite general stocks falling across the board the same day.
According to Ricoh’s five-year plan, it has pledged a 2.8 billion dollar war chest for acquisitions and aggressive investments.
Well, that’s it for 2021. Those were the top 10 stories for the year. Looking forward to seeing more of you in 2022.
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