Global printer market slumps for first time in last three quarters

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The worldwide hardcopy peripherals (HCP) market — also known as the printer industry — declined for the first time in the past three quarters to 25.5 million units shipped in the second quarter of 2014 (2Q14) resulting in a -2.3 percent year-over-year decrease, according to research firm IDC.

printer market q2

Some notable market developments in this quarter include:

? Two of the biggest regions in terms of HCP shipments, Asia-Pacific excluding Japan (APeJ) and Western Europe, showed positive year-over-year gains, 0.4 percent and 5.0 percent, respectively. Growth in APeJ was driven by China, which represents nearly half of the region’s shipments. This was also the fifth consecutive quarter of year-over-year growth for the region.

? Three of the top 5 vendors (Epson, Samsung, and Brother) enjoyed positive year-over-year growth. Both Epson’s and Brother’s growth were driven largely by gains in APeJ.

? Samsung overtook HP as the laser market leader in Western Europe. Samsung is very strong in the low-end, and tends to market its products on price. It also has strong operations in Germany and Italy where it performs particularly well. In addition, distributors and dealers tend to trade HP and Samsung off with each other and sales fluctuate as a result.

“While the overall hardcopy market is mature and we often point to emerging markets as the growth areas, it is important to note that there are still areas of growth and opportunity in more mature markets. Vendors should keep in mind that while pursuing growth in new geographies they need to defend their positions in high-value segments of mature regions, such as color laser multifunction printers (MFP) and the A4 monochrome laser midmarket,” said Phuong Hang, program director for Worldwide Hardcopy Peripheral Trackers at IDC

Key worldwide hardcopy market trends in 2Q14:

Inkjet still makes up the majority of the market (59.7 percent), but the best market growth is in laser. Color laser grew 10.3 percent to close to 2 million units in 2Q14.

Single function to Multifunction: The single function printer market declined by -7.7 percent year over year in the second quarter of 2014, while MFP shipments experienced flat growth. However, MFPs enjoyed strong growth in all color laser speed ranges, especially in 1-10 page per minute (ppm) (31.5 percent).

Monochrome to color: Color increased its overall market share to 19 percent compared to a year ago while monochrome printers lost two points of share, dropping to 81 percent of the overall market in 2Q14. Year-over-year growth for color was 10.3 percent while mono laser was -3.0 percent. The strongest color speed segment was the 45-69 ppm (17.5 percent), where Ricoh did particularly well with the MP C4503 model family.

The move to faster speed segments accelerates in Q2: The 45-69 ppm monochrome laser MFP segment exhibited the strongest year-over-year growth in 2Q14 at 15.7 percent, followed by 31-44 ppm (7.8 percent). The 31-44 ppm segment’s strong growth was fueled by HP’s LaserJet Pro 400 series. In the color market, the 21-30 ppm MFP segment did well at 12.9 percent year-over-year growth, followed by 45-69 ppm at 8.3 percent and 70-90 ppm at 4.5 percent.

The A3/A4 battle in the mid-speed market segments continues. A4 MFP devices gained penetration in the 31-69 ppm monochrome segment with 77.2 percent share of the total monochrome A4/A3 MFP market in the same speed segment. The 13.6-percent year-over-year growth of the A4 31-69ppm MFP monochrome laser segment was driven by strong results in the both A4 31-44ppm (10.6 percent growth) and A4 45-69ppm MFP segment (35.3 percent growth) with notable contributions from HP (21.4 percent), Lexmark (16.8 percent), and Kyocera Document Solutions (13.5 percent).

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