Printer market flourishes in digital-first world
Printing isn’t dead yet, with IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Production Print Tracker showing significant growth in the print market, despite the fact that vendors are focusing on digital gains.
According to IDC, the worldwide production print market experienced double-digit year-over-year shipment growth in the fourth quarter of 2014 (4Q14).
Unit shipments grew 17.1% to approximately 11,650 units (printers and MFPs) and shipment value increased 4.5% to nearly $1.4 billion in the same time period, IDC says.
The IDC Tracker shows all of the analysts' regional markets, except for Japan, saw positive year-over-year shipment growth in the production print space.
Among the regions, Asia/Pacific (excluding Japan) was up 14.7%, North America grew 19.4% year over year, and EMEA grew 23.2%.
All categories in the production print market recorded double-digit year-over-year growth. Of the categories, production was a stand out with year-over-year shipment growth of 50.1%, followed by Label and Packaging at 25.0% and Mid-Production with 10.2%.
Color laser grew by 44.8% on an annual basis while high speed inkjet saw a 27.9% year-over-year increase and monochrome declined -5.9% compared to 4Q13.
IDC’s Worldwide Production Market Share, which is based on shipment value of 2014 Q4, highlights the top vendors in the production print market.
Xerox Group lead the pack with a shipment value of $695,780,000, a market share of 51% and a year-over-year growth of 7.6%.
HP was close behind with shipment value at $213,700,000, market share of 15.7% and a growth of 4%.
Canon Group and Ricoh Group came in at third and fourth place. Konica Minolta Group was fifth on the list with a shipment value of $92,540,000 and a market share of 6.8%, however, the vendor had the highest year-over-year growth at 17.2%.
Amy Machado, IDC senior research analyst Hardcopy Peripheral Solutions, says, "The worldwide production market saw gains as print service providers across the globe are investing in digital.
“The United States is still the largest opportunity for the digital production market, but other regions are showing high demand for equipment.
“Vendors are truly focused on selling value and services, adding to their sales forces to target specific print environments and applications.
“They are reducing barriers to entry, offering increased options and greater print quality at lower price points, and appealing to print service providers of varying size.
"And for inkjet specifically, image quality will only get better and media libraries will continue to expand, pushing that high-speed technology to high growth rates.”