Australia Printer/Copier Market Sees Sharp Decline
In Australia, shipments of printers and copier/MFPs – collectively known as hardcopy peripherals – fell 8.8 percent year-over-year (YoY) in the first quarter of 2018 to 446,000 units, according to the IDC Asia Pacific Quarterly Hardcopy Peripherals Tracker. Both the laser and inkjet markets contributed to the decline, slipping 8.6 percent and 9.3 percent YoY, respectively.
The laser-printer segment industry continues on a downward trend, which was primarily driven by lower sales of lower-cost models. Combined shipments of copier-based and printer-based laser units declined by 8.8 percent YoY, while fax-based laser shipments fell sharply (-72.1 percent YOY) and its share is now less than 0.3 percent in the laser segment, evaporating two-thirds in a year.
Most key players displayed a negative YoY performance in varying degrees in first-quarter 2018 (2018Q1), as shown in Figures below.
For inkjet printers, Canon dropped over one-fifth of its shipments since first-quarter 2017, as its focus shifted to higher-value models. Brother International and HP Inc. filled the gap left by Canon, increasing their inkjet market share by 1.2 percent and 2.8 percent respectively.
For laser peripherals, Fuji Xerox experienced a decline of 30 percent, as Fuji Xerox Australia and New Zealand is still trying to recover from top-level executive and board resignations after an accounting scandal. HP Inc., Ricoh and Kyocera Document Solutions were consistent with the shrinking market. Brother, in contrast, took share from competitors and posted positive YoY growth of 6.5 percent, strengthening its position in the laser market.
Below are some other notable highlights from 2018Q1:
Top Brands are Shifting Focus to Higher-End Models
“As the print space in Australia reaches saturation, brands try different tactics to enhance market share. Some have changed strategy to reallocate resources to high-end products to help improve profit” says Jimmy Li, associate market analyst at IDC Australia. In Australia, the top-five hardcopy peripheral brands dominated over 94 percent of the entire market. IDC research found that shipments of those models with relatively slow print speeds and/or low price had significantly decreased over the past two quarters; color laser printers in the 1-20 ppm speed range recorded a 51.3 percent YoY decline, while monochrome laser shipments decreased 19.9 percent YoY.
Single-function Printers Slowly Taking Share from MFPs
An abnormal phenomenon was noticed in the past quarter, showing that laser-based MFPs declined more and recovered slower than single-function laser-based printers(SFPs). By the end of March 2018, SFPs had occupied 46.6 percent in the laser market, which amounted to 1.6 percent YoY growth.
Kyocera is Trying to Narrow the Gap
Kyocera Document Solutions experienced positive performances over the last year. When others suffered, it managed to not only maintain, but also gained share from others. Kyocera enjoyed a 24.0 percent YoY increase in copier-based laser shipments, together with a long-term shipment expansion for printer-based laser units. The key point of it sales strategy was to award its resellers and dealers, which seems to have worked.
Overall, IDC’s 2018 HCP forecast still shows a downward trend in Australia, for both inkjet and laser segments. It says brands will focus on maintaining profitability in the inkjet segment and compete on “click charges” to keep their market share in the laser market.
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