Printer Market Remains Strong: IDC
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Sales of printers grew by double digits over the prior year according to IDC second quarter results. HP maintained its leadership position.

Growing 16 percentage points over the first quarter and 11 per cent year-on-year the market was buoyed by the seasonal spike in demand from financial year-end buying in the enterprise space, said IDC.

Laser printer shipments were up 29 per cent over Q2 2004, while inkjets had a much quieter result turning in a “relatively modest” 6 per cent, said the research firm.

Multi-function devices are still where the action is with inkjet MFPs growing 26 per cent over last year and laser MFP shipments up 38 per cent over Q2 2004.

“The Australian printer market, though mature, has been witnessing multi-level shifts in end-user preferences. On the first level, smaller businesses are migrating from inkjet printers to laser printers”, said Rishi Ghai, Market Analyst, Peripherals, at IDC. “The second level is characterised by end-users shifting from monochrome lasers to colour lasers.

“The third level comprises of enterprises opting for multi-function printing solutions as opposed to the traditional single function printers. The fourth, and rather nascent level, is that of enterprises going in for managed print services, bypassing direct capital investment in printing equipment”, he said.

HP continued to lead the market with a 29 per cent share, ranking top in single and multi-function lasers as well as MFP inkjets. However, Canon was only a shade behind HP with a share of 27 per cent which it gained by “leveraging primarily on its supremacy in the single function inkjet printer space” said IDC.

Third place saw Epson edge out Lexmark by a point thanks to strong single function inkjet shipments. Then there was a big wait for third with Brother coming in at 5 per cent a long way behind the top four.

IDC Top-5 Printer Vendors, Q2 2005:

* HP 29%
* Canon 27%
* Epson 14%
* Lexmark 13%
* Brother 5%
* Others 12%