Large format printer shipments show uneven signs of growth

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Overall shipments in the worldwide LFP market were more than 78,000 units in 4Q12, an increase of roughly 5,000 units from 3Q12 but down 3.5 percent from the fourth quarter of 2011. Year-over-year shipments slowed at similar rates in both mature and emerging markets, -3.7 percent and -3.2 percent respectively. For the full year 2012, the global market was also down by 3.5 percent. While several regional markets enjoyed increases, many experienced single-digit declines. “While shipments slowed in 2012, in the fourth quarter the trend improved from the prior two quarters,” said Phuong Hang, program manager for worldwide quarterly large format printer tracker at IDC. “The technical market was stable in 2012, and showed signs of growth in the fourth quarter. The graphics market, however, is still being impacted by the lack of growth in the global economy.” Technology highlights Shipments of technical printers fared better than the overall market, growing by just under 1 percent year over year. Technical remains the larger application segment with 45,300 units shipped, accounting for 55 percent of the total LFP market in the fourth quarter, down from 56 percent a year earlier. Mature markets grew by 1.6 percent in 4Q12. For all of 2012, technical shipments were about flat, declining by less than 1 percent. Shipments in graphics applications declined by 8.6 percent year over year, capturing 42 percent of the overall market, down from 44 percent a year ago, on shipments of 32,800 units. Most markets declined in 4Q12 compared to a year ago, but a few markets enjoyed positive year-over-year growth. [caption id="attachment_8531" align="aligncenter" width="415" caption="Credit: IDC"][/caption] Vendor highlights Despite a year-over-year decline of 7.2 percent in shipments, HP remains the global market leader with 40.2 percent market share, down slightly from a year earlier. HP remains the market leader in its traditional area of strength, the technical market, with more than double the share of its next competitor. HP also held the number two position in the graphics market, trailing market leader Epson. Epson was the number two vendor in the overall LFP market in 4Q12 and continues as the leader of the graphics applications segment, with double the share of the next vendor, HP. Shipments declined slightly year over year, and Epson’s share of 21.4 percent was only 0.3 percent below a year ago. While technical printers are only a small part of its LFP sales, Epson’s technical sales have grown by 160 percent and its share has nearly tripled in this segment over the past year. Countering the industry trend, Canon‘s shipments grew 11.4 percent year over year in 4Q12, resulting in its share of the total LFP market growing to 17.7 percent and solidifying its number three position in the market. Canon increased its share in the technical segment, where it holds the second position, while its share was flat in the graphic segment, where it holds the third spot. Following the top three vendors, there was a sharp drop off to the next vendor, Oce, which held a 3.7 percent percent share of the overall LFP market in 4Q12. Oce’s shipments declined by 14.5 percent year over year, leading to a half percent drop in share to 3.7 percent. Oce was the number three vendor in the technical segment. Roland rounded out the top 5 vendors worldwide with a 3.1 percent share of the worldwide LFP market and enjoyed a small uptick in share resulting from 8 percent growth in shipments in 4Q12 compared to a year earlier. Roland’s strength is the graphics market, where it holds the fourth position worldwide, unchanged from a year earlier. ]]>

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