India’s Office Printer/MFP Market Suffers Biggest Decline Ever

Following the disruption in supply chain and demand shock due to COVID-19, the printer/MFP (hardcopy peripheral) industry in India suffered its sharpest year-over-year decline ever, 59.6 percent, according to the latest IDC Worldwide Quarterly Hardcopy Peripherals Tracker, second-quarter 2020.

Shipments were 0.34 million units in second-quarter 2020 (April 1 to July 30, 2020), with a decline of 47.9 percent quarter-over-quarter, as India remained under complete lockdown through the first half of second-quarter 2020.

In the Inkjet segment, supply-chain challenges along with the pan-India lockdown at the beginning of the quarter led to a sharp year-over-year decline of 46.7 percent. Vendors faced supply issues in the middle of the quarter as their manufacturing hubs in China and in Southeast Asian countries grappled with the unprecedented global surge in demand for inkjet printers for the home segment. Within the inkjet segment, the ink-tank printer segment suffered a year-over-year decline of 41.1 percent while the ink-cartridge segment declined by 59.1 percent in the same period.

The laser segment (including the copier segment) suffered an even sharper year-over-year decline of 74.5 percent, following the drop in demand from the commercial segment. In the second half of the quarter, once the lockdown was lifted, some corporations and SMBs resumed operations at offices with a limited workforce, but a significant majority of the organizations continued operating through work from home. Additionally, unfavorable market conditions that forced businesses to cut their expenses  led to the sharpest year-over-year decline to date. For similar reasons, the Laser Copier segment also suffered its highest-ever year-over-year decline ever, 65.1 percent.

“With the onset of partial uplift(ing) of lockdown across the country from mid-May onwards, consumers preferred to procure from e-commerce channels. This resulted in significant growth in online channel contribution to the overall sales by more than 15 percentage points,” commented Bani Johri, Market Analyst, IPDS, IDC India.

“Within the HCP market, demand for (the) ink-tank segment rebounded significantly, and quickly once the lockdown restrictions on non-essential item sales were lifted. Also, within the overall inkjet segment, demand for Wi-Fi and multi-function printers witnessed a considerable increase from the home segment. On (the) laser printer front, single-function printers captured the highest-ever market since third-quarter 2012 as small offices and SMBs purchased these printers to manage their operations from home,” added Johri.

Overall HCP* Market:

Top-Three Brand Highlights:

HP Inc. maintained its leadership in the overall HCP market in India with a market share of 29.8 percent, while its shipments declined by 73.7 percent year-over-year. It faced severe supply issues as its manufacturing units are largely based out of China. While the Laser Printer segment declined by 87.4 percent year-over-year, the inkjet segment declined by 52.2 percent year-over-year. HP regained its second position in the Inkjet segment with a market share of 31.4 percent owing to its strong volume in ink-cartridge-based printers. On the Laser printer (excluding Copiers) front, HP continued to maintain its number-one position with a 34.4 percent market share.

Epson maintained its second  position in the overall HCP market, following HP Inc. very closely with a market share of 29.1 percent and a decline in shipment by 49.4 percent year-over-year. Epson also faced severe supply issues as its manufacturing hubs had to cater to the surge in global demand with limited manpower. Epson had a market share of 40.6 percent in the inkjet segment as it lost out some share to ink-cartridge models from HP and Canon that were preferred by a section of home users who did not want to make a higher cost investment in ink-tank printers (ink-tank printers are typically priced much higher than ink-cartridge printers).

Canon recorded a year-over-year decline of 46.7 percent while maintaining its third  position in the HCP market and capturing 25.6 percent  market share. In the inkjet segment, Canon declined year-over-year by 37.5 percent. In the overall Laser printer segment (including Laser Copiers) Canon replaced HP to occupy the market leadership position with a market share of 33.2 percent. In the Laser Copier segment, although Canon declined by 62.7 percent year-over-year, it continues to lead the copier market with a 32.0 percent unit market share.

IDC India Market Outlook:

“Due to strong demand for home printers for remote learning and the upcoming (Indian) festive season sales, IDC expects a strong third-quarter 2020 for ink-tank printers barring any major supply issues. IDC also expects the laser printer (segment) to show signs of recovery in the second half of the year, as organizations of all sizes continue to open their offices in a phased and gradual manner. Isolated lockdowns by different states may have some impact on third-quarter 2020, but it is not expected to cause any major setbacks for the market. E-commerce share will continue to grow, however, brands need to adopt an omni-channel strategy and not ignore their offline channel partners as they will be the main catalyst for recovery and growth in these crucial next few months,” commented Nishant Bansal, Senior Research Manager, IPDS, IDC India.

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