Hewlett-Packard (HP) Company, the global leader in printers, is looking to a new era in Internet-linked "cloud" services in which printers that have designated e-mail addresses replace the fax machine, while also taking on some of the jobs earlier associated with photocopiers.
HP sees an emerging opportunity in India where an estimated 120 billion pages will be printed by 2014.
Both "managed print services" in which HP bills corporate clients on the basis of work done rather than printers bought and retail publishing that helps small print runs, photo prints for individuals and magazine production are key growth areas for HP.
Vyomesh Joshi, the Indian born executive vice-president who runs HP's $26-billion annual revenue unit, the imaging and printing group (IPG), told a news conference that the global services market is estimated to be worth $62 billion by 2013.
While the services improve efficiency and cuts costs for customers, it also helps firms reduce carbon footprints by using fewer energy-guzzling machines, Joshi said.
This also ties in with new innovations under which any Internet-linked printer with an e-mail ID that enables printing from remote locations.
"This year, we will ship 20 million printers that are e-enabled - cloud aware and connected t the Web," Joshi said.
But printer sales, estimated to be a $175-billion global market by 2013, remain key for HP, which has a global market share of 44% ahead of rivals such as Canon. In India, HP has a market share of 55%, company officials said.
The company sees more printing opportunities as old photographs and papers get scanned for digitised use, even as devices such as mobile phones and tablet PCs drive demand for more printouts.