Global Printer Market Declines Sharply In Q2


Not surprising, the monochrome laser market continued to be the largest tech segment in terms of value, IDC said, at $4.2 billion, and has the largest potential regarding opportunities in the MFP space.

"This will probably always be the biggest market because you can make a black and white copy for less than a penny," said Cindy Yates, marketing manager for Printelligent in Salt Lake City. "But there's an old-fashioned mind-set that color is too expensive. However, there are printers in the market that make color printing very affordable."

Yates, who said that Hewlett-Packard comprises 90 percent of her company's business, points to HP's Edgeline series, which provides two different levels of color that can save expenses. Another cost-saving feature: color printers with controls that can be managed by IT people to cut down on unnecessary color copies.

In its report, IDC also noted that given the economic climate, vendors are trying to woo customers with various product enhancements and incentives.

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"The major vendors are emphasizing innovative cost savings -- including extended warranties and/or extended supply agreements," said Phuong Hang, IDC program manager, Worldwide Hardcopy Peripheral Trackers, in the report. "They are trying to entice buyers with savings on both devices and supplies over a three-year period."

Yates recalled that at the end of 2008, HP talked about its strategy to woo customers and joked that its new HP Trade-In and Save 2009 program was its own version of a stimulus plan.

"HP has been very creative and liberal with its trade-in promotions and that's a big carrot that people can take advantage of," Yates said.

Looking at the top five vendors, HP led the pack in terms of units shipped. HP lost almost four points in market share in the second quarter and declined 28 percent year over year, but the company still managed to have a 40 percent market share.

Canon took the No. 2 spot, with 20 percent of the market in the quarter. Epson followed with a 14 percent market share. Brother came in fourth with six percent, and Lexmark ranked fifth among vendors with a five percent market share. Fifteen percent of the market was made up of a combination of unnamed manufacturers.