Printer sales down 20.2%

Gartner says 2009 number show a significant decline

The worldwide combined printer, copier and multifunctional product (MFP) shipments market totalled 51.3 million units in the first half of 2009, a 20.2 per cent decline over first half of 2008 shipments, according to Gartner.

“The market witnessed a weak demand as both businesses and consumers reduced spending and the drop in shipments was also impacted by tighter inventory controls in order to minimise inventory levels in the channels,” said Lai-Ling Lam, senior research analyst at Gartner. “The situation was further exacerbated by the shortages of popular low-end inkjets and page printers to home, small businesses, and small and medium businesses (SMBs).”

Not a single region was spared the downward trend. The emerging regions of Eastern Europe, Middle East and Latin America were the worst hit as shipments declined 41.8 per cent, 28 per cent and 22.9 per cent respectively in the first half of 2009.

Office printing devices fuelled the overall decline in the global print market, with a 24.5 per cent decrease in the first half of 2009. “In this tough economic environment, businesses are delaying or eliminating purchases of new equipments altogether. The global downturn has also forced them to review their printing needs which could change their print consumptions in the long term. At the same time, it also makes print vendors increasingly look at alternative hardware strategies such as managed print service (MPS) and smart MFP adoption as ways to increase revenue,” added Lam

The consumer inkjet products were less impacted by the global economic downturn, declining 17.3 per cent in the first half of 2009. Despite cautious consumer spending, there are opportunities as demand for wireless inkjets buoyed the consumer market.

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Printer sales down 20.2%