Friday, 30 March 2012 02:12

Printer sales flat with weak demand

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There's been little movement in printer sales in Australia and New Zealand the past year, with the number of boxes - about 2.6 million - sold last year, similar to sales achieved in 2010.

In its latest report, market analyst firm IDC said that the flat, slow sales year between 2010 and 1011, was partly a result of earthquakes in New Zealand and the Tsunami in Japan. According to IDC, weak consumer and business sentiment as a consequence of the global economic outlook exacerbated by European sovereign debt issues, and the impending introduction of a carbon tax in Australia, also had an impact.

"This was further compounded by device model transition activities, a strong Australian dollar, natural disasters in Thailand, and aggressive price competition among vendors," IDC market Analyst, Arunachalam Muthiah said.

In its report, IDC says that during the 'challenging year', Fuji Xerox (FX) outshone other top printer vendors by targeting a lower device speed range with aggressive pricing and achieved five percent unit market share, an increase of two percent from 2010. Other major vendors such as HP, Canon, Brother and Epson maintained their market share in the overall ANZ printer market with HP being the dominant vendor.

"Despite weak demand in purchasing printers by consumers, the slight increase in commercial and government spending compensated some of the drop in total printers sold," said IDC market analyst, Cheryl Looi.

IDC believes that most vendors will recover from production issues caused by the natural disasters in 2011 by the first quarter of 2012 and expects an increase of five percent in overall printer sales next year.

"We expect multifunction inkjet printers and colour lasers to drive printer sales in 2012. Aggressive price competition and more product refreshes will definitely continue as print vendors attempt to increase market share, ultimately benefiting end users," added Looi.

Top 5 2011 ANZ print vendor overall market share (in Units):

HP    36%
Canon    20%
Brother    18%
Epson    11%
Fuji Xerox    5%
Others    10%

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Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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