IDC: Sharp Drop in India’s Printer/Copier Market; High-Capacity Ink-Tank Printers Expected to Make Gains


According to International Data Corporation (IDC), the Hardcopy Peripherals (HCP) market in India dropped by 17.3 percent sequentially in Q4 2015 and reached 813,643 units in terms of overall shipments. Overall, IDC says that  government purchasing was slow, complemented by weak consumer sentiments that prompted this decline.

The end of India’s “festive season” did not increase demand as expected from the channel community, which IDC says was one of the major factors for a decline in the inkjet market in this quarter. Apart from this, the overall buying sentiments were also weak, specifically in the southern part of India where a natural calamity in Tamil Nadu played a crucial role in lowering the overall demand. On the other hand, a decrease in the number of large government deals affected the laser market complemented by the “low pull” from the enterprise segment in the A4-printer base segment.
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According to IDC, HP Inc witnessed a dip in this quarter, but is still the leader, followed by Canon, Epson, Ricoh, and others. Canon shipments were inline because of DGS&D (Directorate General of Supplies and Disposals) buying, whereas, Epson catered to the demand for its Ink Tank printers. Ricoh used its online business as an additional channel to help it grow in this quarter.

IDC market analyst Maninder Singh commented: “Low per page cost and price differential are the key factors influencing a shift in the preference of both the consumers as well as the enterprise segment towards the inkjet multi-function printers over laser printers. With major vendors launching Ink Tank printers, the competition is going to get tougher in the inkjet category in coming quarters.”

IDC senior market analyst Joydeep Dey also commented: “The printing domain is evolving (inkjet technology) with Continuous Ink Supply System (CISS) acting as a catalyst to a niche market. It has engulfed the major players to react and respond by introducing the technology as part of their product portfolio in a short span of time. This change is expected to bring transformational shifts in the print industry.”

In the laser segment, the printer-based laser HCP market declined by 15.4 percent in terms of unit shipments in Q4 2015 when compared to total shipments in Q4 2015. All major vendors, including  HP, Canon, Ricoh, and Samsung declined sequentially in Q4 2015. In the copier-based laser HCP, the market declined by 11.9 percent in Q4 2015. The impact however was less than the printer based laser HCP market.

IDC Forecast

MPS (Managed Print Services) is being seen as a major trend in the printing market. It is a cost-effective solution for the printing customers which might not hold the promise to give a “big push” to unit shipments but will contribute to the overall revenue growth.

The inkjet market is expected to grow at a higher pace than the laser market due to high-capacity  ink-tank printers. The commercial segment that was earlier completely dominated by laser printers is now being penetrated by the Ink Tank printers.

IDC expects the printing market to transition slowly from entry-level laser to inkjet due to  ink-tank printers that provide color printing at sub-INR 10K pricing, making their total cost of ownership low as well. However, overall, IDC says Indian customers who need fast print speed and have high page-volume printing needs will opt for laser printers.


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