Printers are the most notorious example. They're practically given away, but the cartridges are huge profit-makers. Lexmark locks down its laser printers with software that rejects refilled or third-party cartridges, preventing competition from lowering prices. It's apparently illegal under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act to reverse-engineer the software to make compatible cartridges.
August 8, 2004
Try open source for hardware
Consumer electronics companies constantly churn out digital cameras, music players and other technological wonders. But they're not nearly as creative in selling technology as they are in making it. They rely on the old standbys, such as selling the main product at a discount and jacking up the price on supplies, or relying on rebates to lower the price.
Link: North County Times