To find out how the difference got so big, I talked to Vivek Parasher, HP's world wide marketing manager, Officejet Business, Business Printing Division. Parasher told me that it's all about how the ink is packaged. The new Officejet series uses giant cartridges that can hold enough ink to print up to 2,200 pages without being changed. That saves money on per-page basis, and also means companies need to spend less time futzing with changing ink cartridges.
"Intervention rate is a huge deal" for SMBs, Nigro said. "They don't want to mess with their technology, They just want it to work."
So why do businesses get such a break while consumers pay through the nose? Consumers don't print that many pages, Parasher explained, so the higher prices are not that big a deal for them. But businesses print thousands of pages and "need it to be more efficient."
I don't want to be a curmudgeon, but I think everyone needs printing to be as efficient as possible, and printer companies risk a consumer backlash if people start to realize that the high prices they're paying for ink have little to do with costs and a lot to do with how much the printer companies think the market will bear.