I went to Kodak’s Easyshare Printer launch and walked in just as a group of nerds began playing Are You Gonna Be My Girl by Jet. Yes, real live nerds. Don’t ask me why. I’m as confused as you. See, they made the launch into an extended Saturday Night Live sketch and they ran the entire thing in NBC studios. Feel free to watch some highlights after the jump, but it’s pretty stupid.
They brought out some big guns. They had the CEO of Best Buy and Kodak’s CEO hamming it up with Molly Shannon of SNL and essentially hired out an entire studio in Rockefeller Center for this. Why, you ask?
That’s Molly right there, the little one.
Well, Kodak is hurting. They were once to top dog in terms of film sales and now that film has dried up — and they can’t seem to get a grip on the consumer market — they need an out. I think this is their out.
Their new 5000 line of Easyshare Printers may have hit the sweet spot. The 5100, the lowest end model, is $149 and includes a a scanner and copier. The $199 5300 can fax and prints from memory cards while the $299.99 is for the small home office and can copy up to 35 pages and has duplex printing.
Note the prices on the box. It’s worse than Wal-Mart.
So far so good. But their real draw is the ink. Black ink costs $9.99 and a 5-color cartridge costs $14.99. This is enough for a few hundred prints and the quality, from what I saw, was quite nice. A win-win.
Hot damn, you’re saying. Ink. Well, I checked the pricing on my Cannon i550 and found that black cartridges cost $12.99 and the color set cost a whopping $44.99.
So there you have printing’s killer app… ink prices. It’s not about speed, duplexing, or copying. It’s about letting home users feel the same way they feel about office copiers. This helps everyone – Kodak gets a shot in the arm, the kids can print 500 pictures of Pikachu, and home office folks (like myself) don’t feel so bad about printing out long documents. For all its missteps, Kodak seems to have done something right.