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Hewlett-Packard

(HPQ) - Get HP Inc. Report

, long a leader in the printer business, on Tuesday will announce that it is entering the mainstream copier business, a move that could spell trouble for

Xerox

(XRX) - Get Xerox Holdings Corporation Report

and other copier makers, according to a story in the

Financial Times

.

A spokeswoman for H-P declined to either confirm or deny that report, but noted that the company will be making a major announcement Tuesday at Comdex, the giant Las Vegas computer trade show.

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The move has been expected for some time, said Soundview Technology analyst John Jones. Several months ago, H-P renewed its relationship with

Konica Minolta

(KNCAF)

, which supplied printer engines for the first generations of H-P color copiers and will likely supply the copier engine. Konica may also manufacture the entire copier under the H-P label, Jones said.

Should Xerox investors worry?

Jones, who does not cover Xerox, said H-P is capable of doing well in the copier market. "H-P has a good brand, and is capable of designing a high-volume, low-service product. If they can bring the same quality to a copier that they bring to high-performance laser printers, they should do well."

H-P already offers one midrange product for the copier market, but is now likely to enter the market in a much broader way, Jones said.

Soundview Technology does not have an investment banking relationship with H-P.

On Monday, H-P shares fell 9 cents, or 0.4%, to $25.07. Xerox, which has struggled to overcome a litany of financial and accounting concerns, fell 15 cents, or 1.4%, to $10.40.