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According to research by International Data Corporation (IDC), the Western European printer and multifunction (MFP) market decreased by 5.8% in unit terms in 1Q19 compared with the same period a year ago. This meant the overall market declined by 286 thousand units and price pressures led value to also decline by 4.1% to just over $2.5 billion. There were few areas of growth and the negative start to the year will continue throughout 2019.
Inkjet shipments declined 5.4% to just over 3 million units and both A4 and A3 shipments recorded negative growth figures. Most declines were from printer devices, but MFP shipments also decreased more than 4%, but not all OEMs saw declines.
Laser shipments declined by 6.1% and as with inkjets there were few areas of growth. Some markets, such as A4 single-function printers, declined quite heavily, but there was small growth from A3 single function printers and A4 monochrome MFP devices. As fewer overall laser units shipped the value also declined, this time by 2.5%, even though some of the higher speed segments increased.
High speed inkjet devices also contracted in terms of units, but the value was up, and the serial impact dot matrix market continued its decline.
"The decline shown in 1Q19 was in line with expectations and the markets and this negativity is likely to be reflected throughout 2019, but there will be some growth from some segments," said Phil Sargeant, program director in IDC's Western European Imaging, Hardware Devices, and Document Solutions group. "The hardcopy markets are still very valuable to many OEMs and some traditional markets such as monochrome and inkjet are still very sizeable even if they are declining."
- The overall Western European hardcopy market contracted by 5.8% year on year in 1Q19, recording a shipment figure of 4.6 million units, while the value declined by 4.1%.
- A4 monochrome MFP showed a small increase of 0.8%, while A4 monochrome printers declined by 11.2%.
- In line with expectations, the A3 monochrome markets declined by double-digit figures.
- Most color laser segments saw surprise declines but there was solid growth from the niche A2 printer market.