Epson has a long history of producing high-quality, inexpensive printers for artists, scientists and designers.
The printer maker’s new line of digital ink cartridges, which can be purchased in select e-commerce stores, will likely be a hit with customers looking for inexpensive ink to make art or design, but it’s also a step toward expanding its ink lineup beyond the company’s flagship inkjet printers.
“There’s a lot of ink, so we’re definitely going to have a wide variety of cartridges,” said Doug Kohn, senior vice president of product management at Epson.
“But we also have lots of ink that’s more expensive.”
The ink cartridges are designed for inkjet and non-inkjet printers that use the same technology, so it’s possible for a printer to have multiple versions.
“It will be quite a bit of ink,” Kohn said of the ink cartridges.
“And it will have a lot more flexibility in terms of its color and how much of it can be used.”
While the ink can be sold in most of the e-ink printers sold by Epson, customers will have to go to a specific website to order the cartridges, or the cartridges will be available online at select Epson-branded retailers.
Kohn declined to say how much ink the cartridges are sold for, but said it’s “probably in the $5-$6 range.”
The new cartridges come at a time when the ink industry is facing a shortage.
Last year, Epson reported a record-low sales of 3 million ink cartridges for its inkjet printer, with the company reporting that it has sold only 2.8 million of the cartridges since March 1, 2016.
Epson also said in February that it would be taking a $2 billion write-down of its ink and inkjet printing business.
EZO, the ezine that has published the printer cartridges since January 2016, said that its new line has already sold over 20 million cartridges.