PRINTER MAKER Lexmark has announced that it will shut down its inkjet printer operations, cutting 1,700 jobs in the process.
Lexmark will focus on its laser printer and print services businesses in a move that underlines how changes in user behaviour - particularly through the adoption of smartphones and tablets - have hit printer makers hard as the use of digital documents has become more pervasive in enterprises.
According to market watcher IDC, spending on inkjet printers fell by 13 percent in the second quarter as firms clamped down on their printing costs, forcing Lexmark into the retrenchment.
"Today's announcement represents difficult decisions, which are necessary to drive improved profitability and significant savings," explained Lexmark CEO Paul Rooke.
The company is also looking to raise additional cash by selling its inkjet patents, it added.
Lexmark is not alone in being battered by changes in printer usage. Market leader HP recently reported an $8.9bn loss for its financial quarter ending 31 July, with sales in its printer division falling by three percent.
Lexmark said it expects to accrue annual savings of $95m from the closure of its inkjet business through job cuts, factory closures and mothballing its development facilities. µ