Ahead of the mega-merger with EMC, Dell has decided to quit selling printers as part of its hardware portfolio while its imaging business is being scaled back.
Dell's decision to quit the printer business in the EMEA and Asia-Pacific Japan regions was first noted by Stuart Gilbertson over at Consider IT.
Gilbertson wrote that "after quizzing a third-party wholesale supplier, the Dell online chat service, and our Dell Direct Account Manager," the business confirmed that printers would be dropped in the UK.
As Gilbertson also noted, all printers except Dell's C7765dn model have been removed from Dell UK's printer section of their website. An archived webpage of the site shows nine printer models available.
A letter sent to distributors by Dave McNally, Dell's product marketing director for imaging and print in EMEA, described the move as a "scaling down". Imaging products will continue to be available, and existing printers will be supported and repaired in the field, whether via distributors or the Dell inventory.
Printers will continue to be sold during "the transition phase" in 2016, and Dell informed distributors that "during this time we will also continue to provide support and repairs, as well as making available both spare parts and toner supplies for our customers. We anticipate no change to our existing processes or interruption in the availability of this support and these supplies for at least 5 years from the end of 2016."
This means that all warranties would end after 2021, although Dell said it will "work with customers to provide upgrade options to ensure that their support requirements can be appropriately met up to 2021 end date."
Gilbertson wrote that, looking at "a sample of Dell printers we currently support, it looks like they are in fact just re-branded Xerox or Samsung printers." He considered the change could be a result of HP Inc's acquisition of Samsung's printer business, although exactly whose printers Dell may have rebadged is unclear.
A 'frequently asked questions' section of the letter sent to distributors told them Dell was "not planning any price increases in the immediate future" as a result of the scaling back of the Imaging business.
Q. What recourse will I have if Dell is not able to support / repair or provide toner supplies for my printer?
A. Dell will comply with its obligations to support products in line with and for the designated length of the relevant Service offering or (extended) Warranty. Should there be any challenge with supply of swap units, spare parts or availability of toner suppliers, Dell will engage and offer a reasonable and appropriate solution for the affected customer.
Q. I’m concerned about Dell’s ability to fulfil my printer hardware requirements, where can I find more information on what inventory is available?
A. We are continuing to sell through our existing inventory of printers; if you are concerned about our ability to fulfil any product requirements, your Dell Account manager will be able to advise you of the latest stock situation.
A Dell spokesperson had not responded to The Register's requests for comment by the time of publication. ®