Dell Computer will announce its first own-brand printers in March, aiming them at home office users and large workgroups, Chief Executive Officer, Michael Dell, said.
"You will see two waves of products coming out over the next several months that will give us coverage all the way from network printers to the home office," he told analysts at the Goldman Sachs Technology Investment Symposium.
Dell aims to sell printers with its PC systems. "We see a very large opportunity for Dell," he said. "In large organisations in the US we have more than 50 per cent market share. With consumers in the US we have 30 per cent market share. If we can attach printers to those system sales, it's a very nice new business for us," he said in a webcast of the conference.
Dell distributed Hewlett-Packard printers until last July when HP cut off supplies following its merger with Dell's arch-rival, Compaq. In September, Dell named Lexmark International its preferred printer supplier in time for the busy holiday sales season. It also announced plans to introduce Lexmark printers under the Dell brand in the first half of this year.
While Dell expects to sell a lot of printers, he doesn't see huge changes ahead in the printer market.
"We know how to sell printers, we sold 2.5 million of them in the US just last year," he said. "I wouldn't expect a dramatic change in the competitive landscape for printing because it's a big and complex market with lots of competitors with large installed bases."
Dell sees the PC market remaining depressed this year. "Customers are still focused on cost and productivity. We're going to grow nicely this year, but I'm not looking for an overall improvement in general business conditions," he said.