BOISE – Hewlett-Packard Co. (HP) is launching an updated version of its SureSupply app, a free app for mobile devices allowing customers to order ink and toner on the go.

While the app has been available for two years, branded under the name eSupplies, the third iteration of the app will make it easier for HP customers to identify the cartridges they need for their printers, and to place an order right away. The current version of the app is available in the Apple App Store, as well as Google Play, with the beta for the new version set to be released at the end of November.

In building out the app, HP’s developers had a few goals, said John Groden, director of supplies for digital assets. He was speaking during HP’s second day of its media tour on Nov. 13, held at the company’s campus in Boise, Idaho.

“The app allows for seamless repurchasing of ink and toner,” he said, adding it also makes it easier for HP’s marketers to send special offers to existing HP customers. Essentially, customers can download the app to a mobile device, connect it over their network to their HP printer, and then get a read on when their printer is running low on different colours with their ink and toner cartridges.

(Image: HP). Screenshot of the SureSupply app for Apple iOS.
Screenshot of the SureSupply app for Apple iOS. (Image: HP).

And for customers in emerging markets, some of their biggest concerns are centred around whether the cartridges they’re buying are legitimate. As HP is a popular brand, sometimes they accidentally get their hands on counterfeit copies, which are low quality and often leak.

To verify their cartridges are legitimate, the SureSupply app allows users to scan a QR code on the side of the cartridge to verify it came from HP. It will also make it simpler for them to search for a cartridge type simply by typing in a number, pulling up a list of resellers who carry that specific cartridge and are located within a user’s country.

“With the ease of repurchase, it allows us to work with our existing global reseller base,” Groden said.

And while the app doesn’t exactly allow for in-app purchasing, it does show different prices from the list of resellers. Once a customer chooses the number of cartridges she wants to buy, she is transferred to the reseller’s Web site and can then finish the transaction from there.

The app is slated to be available in 29 countries, as well as in 38 languages.

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