Did you know Samsung makes printers? Well, not for long… because HP has just announced it’s acquiring Samsung’s printer business for a little over $1 billion.

HP says its plan is to “disrupt and reinvent the $55 billion copier industry,” which the company says “are outdated, complicated machines,” while also strengthening HP’s consumer printer business.

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If the deal is approved by regulators, it’s expected to close within the next year and HP will combine Samsung’s multi-function printer portfolio with its own existing technologies. The deal also includes the transfer of thousands of patents and thousands of employees.

Ahead of that, Samsung plans to spin off its printing business into a separate company starting November 1st. Then Samsung would sell a 100-percent stake in that new company to HP.

Does this mean the end of Samsung-branded printers? Not quite. Samsung would continue to source printers from HP and sell them under the Samsung name… in Korea. You probably won’t see a lot of Samsung-branded printers in other markets in the comping years.

Some analysts have noted that this deal comes at a time when HP’s printer-related revenue is declining, which means the company could see the acquisition as a way to shore up its position in the market. But the move also makes sense for Samsung… which is a market leader in displays at a time when a lot of office are going paperless… or at least, using less paper than they used to.

I suspect printers will be around for many years to come. But it remains to be seen whether HP is making a smart move by investing heavily in the space now in hopes of capturing more market share, or if Samsung is making the smarter bet by getting out of printing in a world where glass might be more prevalent than paper.

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13 replies on “HP to acquire Samsung’s printer business for $1 billion”

  1. Leave it to HP to buy up printer business in a digital world.

    Samsung’s office stuff was alright, but I feel like I only saw them because I was working for Samsung…

  2. Bought a $25 canon printer scanner copier combo. Been using it for 3 years and refilling cartridges from Costco. Print most stuff from office, this is mostly for weekend emergency printouts.

    Would like to add that a billion has no values these days. Rather than fight the competition, they just bought it out. Brother has a fight on its hands.

  3. Well that scratches Samsung from the list. Up until now they made good stuff. I judge printers differently though, I don’t generally care about the sticker price, I care how much it will cost to put the first 10,000 pages through it, then 100,000. That is the metric where HP always gets written off. It started with the consumer lines and then swept the whole line. HP got out of the selling printers business and into the selling toner and ink business. Then when people figured that out they had to put more effort into locks to keep the generics out than into improving the product.

    HP made so much money from morons who couldn’t figure out the scam that most other printer vendors felp obligated to follow their lead, also locking their hardware down. Samsung and Brother were among that last ones who generally didn’t follow that model. You can also still get some (beware, Google first!) Oki printers that are inexpensive to operate.

    We usually don’t actually buy generic supplies until we have had the printer a few years and the warranty is up but if they aren’t available we take it as a sign of DRM and cross it off the list. It means that even if the OEM supplies are reasonable now, they won’t be in a few years. If generics CAN exist it will hold the OEM pricing down, which is why they are so determined to put in the locks.

  4. Oh, dear God! The most horrible thing in an office is the HP multi printer/scanner/fax. Those things have a mind of their own and are bent on the erasure of the human race. And have you seen the drivers they come with? Put the Skynet and Matrix together and they seem like a happy Christmas elf from Santa’s workshop compared to that evil piece of code! If they were written in Python, the first line would read #import Satan.py

  5. HP inkjet printers are horrible. Mine initializes itself for five minutes before it prints. Earlier models simply stopped working and had to be reinstalled.

    The laser printers are great. Maybe because Canon makes them.

    The HP brand was sterling in the 1970s and 1980s. They made superb products and sold them at a premium price. Guys like Wozniak worked there.

    Today they are a sad example of what can happen when designers and engineers are marginalized.

    Let the geeks rule.

  6. Anti-trust should block this… one reason we had relatively low prices for ink and machines is the amount of competition.

  7. I can’t be bothered to own a printer anymore. I print so infrequently that I just use a print service here in my neighbourhood. Over the past 5 years I’m sure I’ve covered the cost of a $99 laser printer, but I don’t have to troubleshoot, buy toner, stock up on paper, and most of all I don’t have to find somewhere to sit my printer.

    I used to keep my Canon All-in-one around just to scan documents (family photos, grandma’s old recipe cards, etc), but now my smartphone does that nicely.

  8. Most HP printers I’ve encountered have been top notch. I have the 8610 myself and like it, but it does have some very annoying driver issues. The printer is connected wirelessly and at no fault of my wifi network (IP is static, have used different routers, same result) will simply cease to exist after a while. Turning it off and on fixes the issue.

    Still, loving the device.

    1. I have an 8610 too that I got from Staples. For basic printing, it’s hard to beat. Good resolution and good cost per page. The sheet feeder works well for multi-page copies and scans to pdf. The scanner software isn’t the best (when you’re scanning stuff that can’t go through the feeder), and I don’t use the wireless. Overall I would buy it again.

  9. I have a HP monochrome laser printer that is around 10 years old. I buy a new cartridge every 4 or 5 years. Works great with Linux Mint. No Windows10 driver problems. 😉

  10. I personally own an HP all-in-one printer/scanner/copier… but I bought it 10 years ago and use it infrequently enough that I haven’t felt the need to get a new model, even though there are better options available.

    I’m tempted to switch from an InkJet to a laser model that’s faster (and which uses cheaper toner), but I’ve still got two packets of ink to go through, which are probably worth more than the price of a new printer.

    1. HP has been good to me until recently. The Officejet 4620 I have keeps freezing, and there doesn’t seem to be a solution.

    2. I have a recent vintage HP notebook, but quit buying HP printers well over 15 years ago. Part of it was that they just weren’t the reliable beasts they were back in the old days with the HP II and even HP IIP.

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