HP’s snapfish enters digital photo printing market – to offer prints through self-operated kiosks

HP has launched it’s retail/digital photo service snapfish in India.snapfish

snapfish, apart from being a free photo sharing site also offers basic editing capabilities and unlimited storage.
But the major USP of HP’s snapfish is HP’s retail reach which eventually means HP will play on the price points (as well as easy accessibility) in the Indian market.

HP’s retail presence in the country will be through self-operated kiosks that print digital photographs and accept credit card payments, a full-fledged photo centre providing for prints on canvas, mugs, T-shirts and other media and HP Micro Labs, a scaled down version of the photo centre. In about four years, HP is conservatively aiming at 3,000 photo outlets.

HP is tying up with channel partners and existing players for HP branded outlets to tap the market that’s estimated at around 3 billion prints per year in India.

The photos will be printed using HP inkjet and laser printers and have a shelf life of over 100 years if kept exposed and over 200 years if they are kept protected in an album or in a glass-protected photoframe. (source)

Currently, HP’s snapfish offers 4*6 print for Rs. 2.95/ (first 20 prints free) while iTasveer and Picsquare offer the same for Rs. 4.5 and 2.99/ respectively.
Apart from the consumer market, I do hope to see HP entering the corporate market and use their retail outlets for digital printing (and compete with Printo).

Interestingly, snapfish was acquired by HP in 2005 (a day after Y! acquired Flickr) and currently has 40 million members in 15 countries!

HP’s entry into this market is definitely a big boost to the overall ecosystem, but a big threat to the existing players (which are primarily startups).

What’s your take? Do you

  • regard HP’s trusted brand a huge advantage over the Indian startups?
  • Or would you have a tough time mapping HP as a “cool photo printing” service?

I’d love to know your thoughts.
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