Printer market finally expanded on the back on months of decline
Forecasted growth at 5.5% for 2012 but spending from public and private sectors likely to fluctuate.
THE printer and multifunction peripherals (MFP) market experienced healthy growth in the first quarter (Q1) of 2012 and showed signs of improvement after months of consecutive declines, according to new data from IDC Malaysia.
The market expanded 21.2% sequentially to reach over 320,000 unit shipments in 1Q 2012, compared to just over 260,000 unit shipments in 4Q 2011, IDC said in a statement.
Inkjet printers and MFPs, popular choices amongst home users, continued to dominate the total hardcopy peripherals (HCP) market holding 61.7% market share as compared to laser printers and MFPs with just over 35.0%, followed by serial dot matrix printers (SDM) at 3.3% (see figure).
The analyst firm also noted that overall, the inkjet printers and MFPs market grew 13.0% sequentially, recording over 197,000 unit shipments in 1Q 2012. Inkjet MFPs experienced a quarter-on-quarter (QoQ) growth of 17.7%, accounting for 79.4% of the total inkjet market, while inkjet printers continued to shrink sequentially, this time by 2.0%, holding just 20.6% of the total inkjet HCP market.
Meanwhile, laser printers and MFPs experienced a significant growth of 39.7% sequentially in Q1 2012. Large scale commercial tenders and total solutions offered by vendors were the main contributors to this growth, IDC noted.
The laser MFP market experienced a strong QoQ growth of 92.0% representing over 62,000 unit shipments in 1Q 2012 as compared to just 4.0% growth recorded for laser printers.
Donovan Low, associate market analyst for IDC's Peripherals research in Malaysia, said in recent years, the overall demand of multi-function printing machines has been on the rise due to aggressive pricing and marketing efforts put in place by most vendors.
"Commercial tenders are also driving the market up with more strategic pricing and overall solutions offered."
Despite the growth experienced, the market is expected to face several months of uncertainty because of the overall political situation in the country, IDC said, noting that spending from end-users as well as public and private sectors are likely to fluctuate.
Additionally, the contraction of the global economy will decrease the overall spending of users causing further uncertainty in the months ahead. Considering all these factors, IDC expects slow but steady growth ahead for the printer and MFP market and it is projected to grow at 5.5% in 2012.