Global Large-Format Printer Market Hits Dip Again in Third Quarter, Reports IDC

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According to new data from the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Large Format Printer Tracker, large-format printer (LFP) shipments declined -4 percent when compared to third-quarter 2014.

Tim Greene, research director for IDC’s U.S. Large Format Printer Tracker explained: “The third quarter is often the slowest quarter of the year in the global wide-format business while the fourth quarter is often the strongest, as many print-for-pay shops take advantage of aggressive end-of-year manufacturer promotions. While aqueous-inkjet printer shipments declined, shipments of large-format UV and eco-solvent printers grew in the third quarter based on some model-end clear outs and price cuts. While Latex shipments declined slightly worldwide in 3Q15 compared to 2Q15, Latex printer shipments grew 5 percent year-to-date in 2015.”

Note that IDC tracks A2-A0+ devices in the large-format printer market. The large-format printer market includes single-function printers, as well as multifunctional systems (MFPs).

Segment Highlights

The large-format CAD/technical-printer market segment was soft in 3Q15, with shipments down in every region when compared to the third quarter of 2014, according to IDC. However, new products from the top suppliers were introduced in 3Q15 that IDC says should drive a recovery in this segment in the fourth quarter and into 2016.

On the large-format graphics-printer side, new large-format graphics printer shipments declined -1 percent year-over-year in Q3 2015. The decline of conventional aqueous-inkjet graphics printers was offset somewhat by nearly 20 percent growth in large-format UV-curable printers when compared to Q3 2014.

Vendor Highlights

There was no change in the ranking of the top five suppliers in Q3 2015, although some market-share shift can be seen in certain product segments.

The softness in the CAD/technical large-format printer market impacted Hewlett-Packard somewhat, but HP is by far the top supplier of large-format digital printing systems worldwide. HP saw sales grow in the latex and UV wide-format printer segments in Q3 2015.

Canon remained number-two among large-format printer manufacturers with market share of approximately 21 percent of worldwide shipments when Canon and Canon-Oce units are combined.

Epson also maintained its position as the number-three worldwide supplier to the large-format digital printer market. Epson is seeing “nice growth” in the dye-sublimation and technical printer segments and re-launched its eco-solvent inkjet printer units at the recent SGIA trade show.

Roland DG is the fourth-ranked supplier of large-format printers worldwide, based on its strength in the eco-solvent market and growing presence in UV and dye-sublimation large-format printers. Roland also recently launched the new SOLJET EJ-640, a new flagship eco-solvent printer.

Mimaki maintained its number-five position among large-format printer manufacturers even as the company has reorganized some of its key distribution channels.

Other Highlights

Overall, large-format printer shipments in the Latin America region grew 10 percent in 3Q15 compared to the previous quarter, but were still down by -7 percent compared to the third quarter of 2014.

Modest large-format graphics printer shipment growth in North America was offset by declines in the Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) region, while Asia/Pacific and Latin America were essentially flat.

Canon-Oce and Ricoh were the leaders in the worldwide toner-based large-format printer segment where shipments declined -7.5 percent year-over-year as users continue to shift to color inkjet for their wide-format technical print volume.

More Resources

August 2015: IDC: Second-Quarter Large-Format Printer Market is Slow, but 2015 Still Ahead of 2014 Shipments

May 2015: IDC: Slight Decline in Worldwide Large-Format Printer Shipments in First-Quarter 2015; HP is Leader

August 2014: IDC: Worldwide Large-Format Printer Shipments Enjoy Fourth Consecutive Quarter of Growth; Epson Makes Gains

June 2014: Worldwide Large-Format Printer Market Posts Third Consecutive Quarter of Growth

December 2013: IDC: Worldwide Large-Format Printer Market Returned to Growth in Third Quarter

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