The large format printer (LFP) market recorded year-over-year growth of 5.3% in the second quarter of 2014 (2Q14) with more than 77,000 units shipped.
IDC reports that shipment value, however, declined slightly to $786 million in the quarter with year-over-year growth of -0.5%.
The growth in unit shipments was driven by solid results for the top three vendors: HP, Canon, and Epson.
The top three regional markets posted year-over-year growth for the second consecutive quarter in 2Q14, with Western Europe leading the pack at 11.1%, followed by the U.S. at 6.2% and Asia/Pacific (excluding Japan) at 3.7%.
"IDC expects the aqueous color inkjet market to grow at a single digit rate over the next two years," says Phuong Hang, Program Director, Worldwide Large Format Printer Tracker, IDC.
"The technical segment of the large format printer market is the real driver of growth opportunity. The gains in the technical segment can be attributed to improved speeds and image quality."
* The technical segment grew 2.1% year over year to 46,000 units shipped in 2Q14. It remains the largest application segment with 60% share of the total worldwide LFP market. All regions except Latin America recorded year-over-year unit growth in this large format category for 2Q14.
* The graphics application of the large format market is a driver of growth opportunity. This segment grew 10.3% year over year to more than 31,000 units shipped. Similar to the technical segment, all regions except Central Europe, the Middle East and Africa (CEMA) experienced year-over-year growth in this segment. Western Europe posted the greatest gains in both unit and shipment value, 23.4% and 14.6%, respectively.
HP remains the global large format printer market leader with more than 30,700 units shipped and 39.9% share. Its year-over-year increase of 7.4% was helped by positive gains in the technical (5.7%) and graphic (18.0%) segments.
HP continues to lead the technical market, with almost twice the unit shipments of its next competitor, Canon. HP also maintained its second place position in the graphics market behind Epson.
Canon is the second ranked LFP vendor with more than 17,000 units shipped and 22.6% share. The vendor grew 5.8% year over year. This positive growth was driven by year-over-year gains in both the technical and graphics segments, 3.5% and 13.5%, respectively.
Epson strengthened its number 3 position with 12% year-over-year growth, the best performance among the top 5 vendors.
The vendor recorded more than 15,200 units shipped and 19.8% share, up more than 1 point from a year ago. Its year-over-year growth of 12% was driven by significant growth of 16.5% in the graphics application segment.
Roland was the number 4 vendor in the worldwide LFP market with more than 2,700 units shipped in 2Q14.
The vendor declined 2.9% year over year and held a 3.6% share of the overall market. Graphics application is Roland's main market, which means the vendor's year over year decline was driven by a decrease in the graphics segment.
Ricoh rounded out the top 5 vendors with a 2.5% share of the worldwide LFP market with unit shipments declining -11.7% compared to a year earlier. The vendor holds the top 4 spot in the technical market, where it saw a -12.1% year-over-year decline.