Printer market in decline, says Gartner

MFP printing

The EMEA printer, copier and multifunctional product (MFP) market took a hit in 2008, with a drop of eight per cent in units shipped last year, according to latest figures from Gartner.

The analyst said buyers reduced printer and MFP spending due to low confidence in the market.

“The fourth quarter of 2008 was a pivot point for the world economy, creating a very challenging selling environment for all printer, copier and MFP hardware and software providers,” says Tosh Prabhakar, senior research analyst at Gartner. “The rapidly deteriorating economic environment is forcing technology providers to look at their business models and make significant adjustments.”

Gartner paints a gloomy short term picture for the print market, with the tough economic climate creating caution and uncertainty among both consumers and businesses. It reckons reduced credit availability for consumers, start-up businesses and SMBs across a majority of the European markets during the next 12 months will exacerbate the situation in the short term. However Prabhakar is instead urging businesses to consider adopting managed print services (MPS), smart MFP and fleet document management systems. “[This will] help better control costs and better manage their office devices with cost optimisation in mind,” he says.

“We fully agree with Gartner’s conclusion that freezing investment is not the best way to reduce costs,” says Mark Duffelen, director and general manager, Office Group, Xerox UK. “There are also other means to reduce costs without losing on quality and service. Small and medium sized businesses demand solutions like Xerox’s eClick and PagePack - cost-per-page contract models which include consumables, supplies and servicing for both printers and multifunction systems. These solutions are especially helpful to small and mid enterprise customers who wish to gain visible control of their printing costs.”

“The most advanced and increasingly popular way to lower costs for printing and document handling is a fully outsourced managed print service with guaranteed cost savings of between 20 and 30 per cent. With our approach customers are able to determine the actual costs associated with printing, copying and faxing across all offices” adds Peter Romaine, director and general manager, Xerox Global Services UK.

In 2008 HP remained market leader in the overall EMEA printer; copier and MFP market, but sales were down almost 11 per cent in 2008. Lexmark experienced the greatest unit losses during the year as the organisation continued to lose market share as a result of it shifting its focus to the more profitable high-end workgroup space. Samsung Electronics posted the highest year-on-year market growth with a 16.3 per cent increase in 2008, which helped it maintain second position in the page market and narrow the gap on HP.

An HP spokesperson told Channel Pro:“We maintain a strong market position in printing with overall printer unit share of approximately 45 percent and will continue to invest in market-leading innovation, focus on high page-value segments, and drive the conversion to digital printing.”

Christine Horton

Christine has been a tech journalist for over 20 years, 10 of which she spent exclusively covering the IT Channel. From 2006-2009 she worked as the editor of Channel Business, before moving on to ChannelPro where she was editor and, latterly, senior editor.

Since 2016, she has been a freelance writer, editor, and copywriter and continues to cover the channel in addition to broader IT themes. Additionally, she provides media training explaining what the channel is and why it’s important to businesses.