Developing Markets Continue to Lead Hardcopy Market, Reports IDC

Underscoring the continuing weak economic conditions in the United States and Europe, market-research firm International Data Corporation  (IDC) reports that emerging markets continued to outperform in the hardcopy peripherals space, growing at an average of 13 percent year-over-year in 2011’s first quarter, compared to worldwide shipment growth of 7.2 percent in 2011’s first quarter.

According to IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Hardcopy Peripherals Tracker, the worldwide hardcopy peripherals market recorded 30.7 million unit shipments in the first quarter of 2011. However, this is down from the 36.5 million units shipped in fourth-quarter 2010. The 36.5 million shipments in fourth-quarter 2010 was the highest number of quarterly shipments since the fourth quarter of 2007.  

Similar to the last two quarters, in first-quarter 2011, monochrome laser units led with close to 8.5 million units shipped and 22 percent year-over-year growth. The IDC report tracks A2-A4 devices, and defines hardcopy peripherals as single-function printers, printer-based MFPs, and single-function digital copiers. Data for all vendors are reported for calendar periods.  

On the bright side, IDC expects that the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan will have little to no impact on the global imaging market and that the negative impact will be felt more strongly for laser devices than for ink-jet devices, “So far, we have had no reports of stock shortages for hardware. We anticipate the laser forecast for Japan will return to positive growth by early 2012,” said Phuong Hang, program manager for IDC’s Worldwide Hardcopy Peripheral Trackers 

Technology Highlights

  • Losing some share to laser technology, ink-jet devices made up 63 percent of overall shipments in first-quarter 2011, down 4 percentage points from a year ago, while laser devices grew 3 percentage points to 33 percent share in first-quarter 2011. All regions except Japan saw year-over-year growth in laser shipments with Asia/Pacific (excluding Japan) and Latin America seeing the highest growth at 29 percent each.
  • First-quarter 2011 1Q11 marked the fourth consecutive quarter when monochrome laser unit surpassed color laser units in terms of year-over-year growth, with close to 8.5 million monochrome units shipped for a 22 percent gain. Monochrome laser printers remain the dominant type of laser in the office, accounting for 62 percent share of all laser devices.

Vendor Highlights

  • Hewlett-Packard remains the undisputed leader in the global hardcopy-peripherals market with 42.4 percent market share. HP’s first-quarter 2011 shipments grew 10.5 percent versus first-quarter 2010, the second highest year-over-year trend among the top five vendors. With the exception of Japan, IDC says HP posted positive year-over-year growth across all regions.
  • Canon remains a a distant second-ranked vendor with 17.4 percent  market share and over 5.3 million units shipped. However, Canon enjoyed an 11.3 percent year-over-year gain, the highest among the top five vendors. IDC attributes Canon’s gain to due to double-digit growth in emerging markets, including Asia/Pacific (excluding Japan), Central Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), and Latin America.
  • Epson continues to hold the third place ranking with 14.1 percent share and close to 4.4 million units shipped in first-quarter 2011. With the exception of Latin America and Asia/Pacific (excluding Japan), Epson saw a year-over-year decline in unit shipments across all regions. IDC says Latin America was Epson’s best performing region, where it recorded 27 percent year-over-year growth, followed by Asia/Pacific (excluding Japan) with 2 percent growth.
  • Samsung and Brother ended first-quarter 2011 in a statistical tie for the fourth position with shipments of roughly 1.8 million units and year-over-year growth of 1.1 percent and 4.2 percent respectively.

The IDC Worldwide Quarterly Hardcopy Peripheral Tracker provides total market size and vendor share for single-function printers, MFPs, and single-function digital copiers. Regional reports are also available for eight regions, including the United States, Canada, Latin America, Western Europe, Central and Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa, Japan, Asia/Pacific, and the rest of the world. Country-level data is available for 72 countries. For more information about IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Hardcopy Peripherals Tracker, contact Phuong Hang (