Printer vendors form alliance to further mobile printing

It seems almost shocking to see fierce rivals in the printing and imaging market unity for a common cause. But that is exactly what they have done.

Canon, HP, Samsung, and Xerox along with a few software vendors such as Adobe launched the Mopria Alliance, a global non-profit membership organization formed to promote the accessibility of wireless printing from smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices.

Recently, CDN conducted an interview with Samsung where its head of printing solutions Dr. Ki Ho Kim said his plan is to overtake HP for the top spot in the market by use of mobile printing.

Another source from, however, said that the vendors needed to get together because there are several million people who simply do not know they have the capability to print from a smartphone.

The Mopria Alliance aims to bring together the mobile, software and print industries with the goal of aligning to standards that make printing universally compatible from any mobile device to any printer anywhere. The Mopria Alliance will focus on these core areas:

  • Breaking down barriers between brands by eliminating the need for users to download multiple print drivers;
  • Creating a better, easier and more accessible user experience for mobile printing;
  • Introducing the Mopria brand and using the brand as a vehicle to educate consumers and businesses on the  ease-of-use of mobile printing;
  • Influencing the development and adoption of standards for mobile printing; and
  • Providing an open environment and tools for software developers to incorporate print into mobile applications.

By standardizing mobile printing technologies, the Mopria Alliance believes it can aid mobile app developers and other industry players to focus resources on innovation and new features beyond maintaining basic print functions.

According to Canon, by the end of 2013, the number of mobile-connected devices will exceed the number of people on Earth, changing the way people do everything from capturing memories to managing work on the go. Currently, 40 per cent of employees use their own smart phones in the workplace, and in the next three years, the number is expected to increase to 56 per cent. While the BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) trend has become second nature for many employees and businesses, printing from mobile devices has not.

Today more than 24 per cent of smartphone and 32 per cent of tablet users want to be able to print from their devices and by 2015, 50 per cent of smart phone users and 58 per cent of tablet users will want to print. The Mopria Alliance plans to ensure this need is met with simple, ubiquitous wireless print capability across software, mobile and print devices.

Besides the printer vendors there will also be four other software vendors as members:  Adobe, Papyrus, HP Live Photo, and Diptic.

Masaki Nakaota, senior managing director, Office Imaging Products Operations, for Canon said the company believes that providing a consistent and intuitive experience across all devices will open new doors for mobile printing. The Mopria Alliance print standard was developed to overcome today’s limitations to printing from mobile devices.

Dinesh Srirangpatna, research manager of hardcopy usage at IDC, said this initiative by leading hardcopy equipment manufacturers to simplify and streamline user print experience from mobile touch points such as smart phones and tablets. “Mobile print users will benefit from common standards, certified products and interoperability across the print ecosystem. It is great to see the print industry take on the challenge head-on to align, drive common standards across mobile devices, printer devices and mobile OS systems to meet the rapidly growing market need for mobile printing,” Srirangpatna said.

While this is a good start to further mobile printing the membership still needs other printer leaders such as Lexmark, OKI Data and Epson.

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Paolo Del Nibletto
Paolo Del Nibletto
Former editor of Computer Dealer News, covering Canada's IT channel community.

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