HP is set to make its presence felt in the printing market as it unveils a new range of devices specifically geared towards home workers and small businesses.

At present, the US technology firm is the biggest seller of printers in the world, shifting millions of units each year.

However, it has started to lag behind its rivals when it comes to the more niche market for multifunction printers – that is, machines that boast both printing and scanning capabilities and which are also able to manage electronics documents.

To rectify this, HP chief executive Meg Whitman has confirmed that the company is to unveil a new line of multifunctional printers over the next few months, while it will also step up its levels of investment in the next generation of home and small business printers.

According to a report from The Australian, the HP chief is keen to cash in on the soaring demand for printers that can do more than simply print A4-sized pieces of paper, noting that multifunction devices represent the "fastest-growing segment of the market".

More specifically, the coming months should see models costing from around £800 launched worldwide, alongside more expensive multifunctional machines for businesses.

At the same time, the newspaper notes, HP will also continue to focus on growing its printer ink arm which, according to the Australian, brings in billions of pounds a year, with the company currently the global leader in the field.

Meanwhile, one of HP's main rivals, Canon, has announced its intention to step up its printer operations over the next few years.

Setting down a market for its competitors, the company's executive for inkjet product operations Hideaki Fukai expressed his hopes that the company will become the leading printer ink supplier in India within the next three years.

Central to these expansion plans in Asia will be the continued popularity of Canon's 'My Image Garden' imaging software, with this giving home users the chance to produce professional-looking images in the home.ADNFCR-1220-ID-801479819-ADNFCR
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