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Kodak: Disguising costs, unfair comparsions, and confusing yields: Kodak's statement (1.7.2010)

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Druckerchannel received the following statement from Magnus Felke, Director Produkt Marketing at Kodak, to our investigation. We comment the statements (in orange).

We clearly reject the allegation of "cheating". The substantial reason, why the topic ink costs is discussed so fiercely is that ink costs are generally too high. Since joining the market Kodak offers in the course of this developement a genuine alternative: Consumers can save an average of 98 Euros in ink cost per year with Kodak. Beyond that Kodak has the lowest costs for a complete ink cartridge set.
[mark {[fett Comment Druckerchannel (DC):}] The fact that consumers can save an average of 98 Euros is valid only when using standard cartridges (no XL cartridges) and with printers selected by Kodak.]

Kodak´s priority is, to create transparency in a very obscure market:

  • No other manufacturer tests to such extent with an independent test lab, as we do.
  • No other manufacturer publishes so detailed test reports.
  • With no other manufacturer in Germany one can download ISO test reports from a web page.
  • No other manufacturer offers comparisons to other manufacturers.

When, in 2007, we entered the ink printer market, we had to decide in favour of a certain test method. There were good reasons for our decision - as mentioned later. Whatever method we would have chosen, they always would have been targets for criticism.

a) Sham package – Increase in printing costs

While some of our competitors increased their prices in 2009 several times, we did our first adjustment of prices in 2010 for the first time since 2007. Not to begin an advertising campaign with that, no one can blame us for. The price for black ink 10B, the most often used ink, remains unchanged at 9,99 Euros.
[mark {[fett Comment DC:}] Kokak had not mentionend, that with the same price for a cartridge it´s content has decreased.]

Enclosed the prices for the entire ink assortment:

  1. Kodak offers the black ink cartridge 10B (yield about 425 pages, according to ISO 19752) at a price of 9.99 Euros.
    [mark {[fett Comment DC:}

Kodak doesn´t quote the result according to ISO/IEC 24711/12 and by that suggest a higher yield.] | With the new black ink cartridge 10XL for 16.99 Euro (yield about 770 pages), according to ISO 19752, approximately 70 percent more pages can be printed than with the Kodak ink cartridge 10B (according to Kodak´s own tests and indepedent tests by Quality Logic). Thus Kodak offers more comfort and more yield particularly for power printers of text pages in black and white.
[mark {[fett Comment DC:}] The cartridge 10XL however offers no price advantage (per page) compared to cartridge 10B - their price per page is the same.] | The new Kodak color ink cartridge 10C for 17.99 Euros (yield about 420 pages) generate approx. ten percent higher output as it´s predecessor.
[mark {[fett Comment DC:}] The price per printed page however is eight percent higher than with the predecessor cartridge.] ] In comparison with the competition our Premium ink still belongs to the most inexpensive in the market. The costs per page have, compared to 2009, in average risen a bit (0.6 Cents for text documents in black, 0.1 Cents for documents in color, and 0.6 Cents for photos). This however doesn´t change the fact, that Kodak makes possible annual savings in ink costs of about 98 Euros, in relation to the competition.
[mark {[fett Comment DC:}] The statement "98 Euro annual savings" is only possible when using a "misleading comparison test" - read below. The text printing became more than 20 percent more expensive.]

b) Misleading comparison tests – Use of standard cartridges by Quality Logic

The independent test institute Quality Logic and Kodak pursue a clear line, when using standard ink cartridges for comparison tests, in order to ensure comparability and informative value. If all other ink options were included as well, this would be at the expense of comparability - we would compare apples to oranges. Standard ink cartridges are the best-selling ones by far. According to GfK 87 percent of all cartridges sold in 2009 were standard cartridges (Source: GfK Retail and Technology, Panelmarket Germany Jan-Mar 2010, Inkjet-Cartridges). Only 12 percent of the cartridges sold were of XL size.
[mark {[fett Comment DC:}] In our view it is unfair to test printers exclusivly with standard cartridges. If printers are delivered with XL cartridges, they should be tested with these.]

[mark {[fett Comment DC:}] This chart considers all ink jet printers. Correct were a chart that exclusively shows printers, which work with XL cartridges as well.]

Kodak tests standard cartridges, since these in our opinion have the highest consumer relevance. It´s of little use to compare cartridges the end user has difficulties to find.
[mark {[fett Comment DC:}] When using competing manufacturers, you can save money with XL cartridges, but not with Kodak. It is no problem at all to find XL cartridges, of HP, Eson, and others, and they are even specially advertised.]

Concerning the differences between the ink yield results of Quality Logic and other manufacturers, today we can say only so much: Quality Logic tests very pedantic according to the ISO standard. Since other manufacturers merely do their own tests without publishing the results in Germany, an exact tracebility is difficult.
[mark {[fett Comment DC:}] The test procedure is minutely prescribed by ISO.]

c) Wrong yield data – Use of ISO standard 19752 with the black Kodak ink cartridges

With introduction of this standard in February 2007, Quality Logic and Kodak decided to test yield of black documents according to the ISO document 19752. In appendix E of ISO 24711 is expressivly noted that ISO 19752 is permissible, in order to determine yield for black and white documents.
[mark {[fett Comment DC:}] The additional declaration of yield according to ISO/IEC 19752 is possible. Druckerchannel has criticized, however, that Kodak uses this result exclusively - and that´s inadmissible according to the standard.]

In our view the use of this standard clearly serves the cost-conscious consumer: In the decision-making process for a printer it is very important, how many pages in black and white can be printed. In addition the consumers can better compare yield of ink- to laser-printers, owing to ISO.
[mark {[fett Comment DC:}] The use of the results of ISO standard 19752 exclusively is not permissible. It is insignificant whether the document is better suitable or not.]

ISO 24712 shows yields for black cartridges as well, but only for documents with a very large color portion. In our view this can lead to irritations of the consumers, since ISO 19752 exclusively considers the purely black document. In order to find out, how many black documents one can print with a black cartridge, ISO 19752 is the only meaningfull and significant method.

In order to make the differences of the yield data comprehensible, Kodak on it´s website gives both results, according to ISO 24712 and to ISO 19752, they are accessible to the consumers and thus in agreement with the ISO guidelines.
[mark {[fett Comment DC:}] Unfortunetaly that is wrong - as a rule Kodak just shows clippings of the test results, and that´s against the rules of ISO/IEC 24711 (see] Screenshot ). According to the standard, every indication of cartridge yield must refer to all cartridges used. The exclusive citation of the ISO/IEC-19752 result is inadmissable here, too.

No other manufacturer publishes voluntarily as many detailed data as Kodak does - including the comparability with laser printers. Nevertheless, the company Kodak intends to examine the author´s notes expressed in this connection, in order to make detailed test data in the future accessible ever faster and more simple.


07.07.10 10:36 (letzte Änderung)
1Triple-cheat by Kodak (Update)
2Kodak's statement (1.7.2010)

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