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Printer market jammed by slump in sales

Falling printer shipments expected to continue after sharp decline during first half of the year

Printer market jammed by slump in sales
Sales of printers in EMEA declined 24% during the first half as customers held back on new purchases.

Corporate customers have been holding back IT purchases to such an extent that the EMEA printer market crashed 24% in unit terms during the first half of the year.

New data from analyst firm Gartner reveals that combined sales of printers, copiers and MFPs totalled just 18 million units between January and the end of June — around six million units fewer than the same period last year.

Tosh Prabhakar, senior analyst at Gartner, says the global recession continues to be “detrimental” to the IT business and blames the limited availability of credit for the lack of hardware spending.

“With reduced budgets, businesses cannot invest in new equipment and continue to hold onto existing devices, which as a result is hampering new sales and impacting revenues for the print vendors,” said Prabhakar.

“However, as vendors see hardware sales decline, there is an upturn in vendors widening their document management software and services capabilities to help businesses reduce and better manage costs.”

In the EMEA printer, copier and MFP market, each of the top-five vendors suffered a decline in the first half of 2009.

Market heavyweight HP and rival Canon came off worst, registering a slump in shipments of 31% and 26% respectively. The pair accounted for 56% of the market between them during the first half of 2009.

Epson, Brother and Samsung also failed to post growth, although their sales did not shrink at the same rate as the market average.

Printer vendors who think they have now seen the worst of it could be in for a rude awakening, according to Gartner.

“We foresee the market in the second half of the year continuing to show double-digit decline, and in the worst-case scenario could reach a 30% decrease,” warned Prabhakar.

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