This Week in Imaging: A4 Continues to Make Impressive Gains
This week’s news snapshot is interesting in that all new office-imaging hardware introduced were A4 (letter) not A3 (ledger) machines. The several new A4 models introduced by Canon and Epson also highlighted the continuing trend of A4 matching A3 capabilities, with A4 models from both companies offering A3 parity (or coming close to it) in areas such as management, security, accounting, touch screens, etc. (though not typically document finishing), a continuing trend for the last decade. To date, typical A3 copier companies that continue to work on their A4 offerings are Canon, Ricoh, Sharp, and Xerox, reflecting many customers’ appreciation for A4’s lower cost and space-saving design.
According to GAP Intelligence, from 2010 to 2018 A4 has made huge gains in the market:
“…A4 color MFPs have seen the most growth with an increase of roughly 173 percent and A4 B&W MFPs have increased by approximately 141 percent. Ultimately, A4 MFPs are becoming more prevalent in the market and are beginning to replace A3s in some scenarios.”
What’s propelled A4 in the market is first that A4 machines cost about half that of A3, and second, that many enterprises have come to realize that they don’t require A3 print and copy as much as they had thought. Vendors have also done their part in making A4 more acceptable, addressing traditional A4 weaknesses, with the result that A4 machines now rival the A3 print speed and business features, and, with managed print services, a competitive cost per page. Among dealers, we now hear how the once-hated A4 is now becoming part of a balanced deployment and a companion to A3. While we believe there will always be a place for A3, it will become increasingly common for A4 machines to serve alongside their A3 counterparts.
This Week in Imaging