There are 3 major competitors in this market. They are X-rite, Gretag-Macbeth (GM), and Datacolor International (DCI). I'm not posotive about GM, but I believe they are Swiss. DCI is indeed held by a swiss company (a brewery). All three companies are global competitors with corporate offices in the US. Minolta and Hunter are smaller competitors in this arena.All three compete pretty much head-to-head in the same markets (color management hardware and software).Dci in years past and under different management was, as I understand the heavyweight. X-rite has since walked off with a large part of the market share. They seem to be very aggressive.Since they are off shore, it is difficult to get information for GM and Dci. GM is starting to reconcile a product overlap from the recent merger of Gretag and Macbeth. Their software is strong, however.The Dci name has carried this company for much of the last four years in the coating business. They have had a tremendous software stability issue. This may not go away anytime in the near future. Textiles, on the other hand, is more stable and they are set to move very quickly with retail stores specifying Dci products to suppliers. Dci's primary focus in all cases has been high end product.X-rite is very strong in the ink industry. They have been extremely successful in building their brand name among printers. They are also very succesful in penetrating the low end color control market with lower cost product. X-rite has embarked on the specifier approach with the coatings industry.When you stop to think about what these three companies do we can see better their potential. Everything that is manufactured has color. Imagine the importance of the red that is known throughout the world as Coca-Cola.It is indeed a niche, however, we are seeing a very rapid and concerted movement by these large companies (Coke, Revlon, Proctor & Gamble, Dayton Hudson, etc.)toward global color standardization and communication.IMO each of these companies are getting their houses in order. Presently, it would appear that X-rite is positioned to be the better investment choice.Sorry so long winded.
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