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HP says its ink subscription plan for Singapore can cut printing cost by half

US technology giant HP launched Singapore's first printer ink-cartridge subscription service on Thursday (March 3), to meet growing demand from hybrid work and home-based learning.

The plan, named HP Instant Ink, already has 10 million users in other markets, from the US to Australia, and claims to save up to 50 per cent on ink cost for subscribers, the company said.

One of the world's biggest printer makers, HP said the service in Singapore is available only for home users for now, with a free three-month trial promotion of up to 1,500 pages per month when they buy an eligible printer.

Owners of eligible HP printers who sign up for the plan - via a mobile phone app - will automatically receive new cartridges at their doorstep before the ink runs low.

Ms Vivian Chua, HP's Singapore managing director, said more people have been printing at home during the pandemic.

"Not only do we see a surge in demand for printers, but existing owners are also using their printers more," she said at a virtual media launch event.

"I am excited for print users to experience the freedom, flexibility and convenience of using Instant Ink," she added.

HP said almost all of its printers that customers may have bought in recent years are eligible for the subscription service. HP has also backdated compatibility to cover older generation printers.

Cartridges will be shipped only when the app linked to the HP printer indicates that ink is close to running out.

The subscription plan starts from $1.90 for 10 pages per month and extends to $36.90 for 700 pages every month. Up to 15 additional pages can be ordered for a discounted price of $1.50.

HP subscribers will also become part of the company's recycling programme that lets users return used cartridges by post via pre-paid envelopes, making it easier to ensure e-waste makes it into the recycling ecosystem.

The cartridge return and recycling programme is currently available in more than 60 countries worldwide through the HP Planet Partners programme. To date, more than 875 million HP ink and toner cartridges have been recycled by customers.

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