IDC: Western Europe Printer/MFP Market, Inkjet Shipments, Down

Western Europe Map

According to research by International Data Corporation (IDC), the Western European printer and copier/MFP market declined by 1.5 percent in unit terms in third-quarter 2016 compared with the same period a year ago, with a negative performance in the inkjet market, but a positive trend for the laser market.

(Note that for its research, IDC tracks A2–A4 devices in its  Quarterly Hardcopy Peripherals Tracker. Hardcopy peripherals include single-function printers, printer-based multifunctional systems (MFPs), and single-function digital copiers.

IDC Research

For more than a year now, IDC says the market has declined quarter after quarter — this quarter with a 78,407 decrease in units, with a shipment volume of 5.3 million devices, and a decline that IDC says is again largely due to the contraction in consumer printing but is relatively in line with forecasts. Revenues, on the other hand, grew by 3 percent, and inkjets units showed a small 1.5 percent increase due to business inkjets, while laser revenue increased by 3.2 percent.

Laser markets increased by 1.9 percent in third-quarter 2016, a sharp contrast with a negative trend observed in Western Europe for the past five quarters. Laser revenue increased more than volume, indicating that prices in many markets are holding: ASPs for the laser market increased by 1.2 percent in third-quarter 2016.

For the first time since first-quarter 2013, IDC says business-inkjet shipments suffered a major decline. Deemed to be a major opportunity for a fading, home-customer-centric technology, shipments fell by 13.1 percent in third-quarter 2016. MFP products declined by 14.6 percent. Surprisingly, business-inkjet printers increased by 3.8 percent in the quarter, with the thinking that some vendors placed a greater emphasis on shipping lasers for the quarter. Despite this, business-inkjet MFPs accounted for 90.3 percent of business inkjet shipments in third-quarter 2016.

Overall, MFP products accounted for 83.3 percent of all shipments in Western Europe in third-quarter 2016, slightly higher than the 83.2 percent in third-quarter 2016. Laser and inkjet MFPs decreased by 1.4 percent, while laser and inkjet printers decreased by 1.8 percent, with shipments generally in line with IDC forecasts.

There was a decline in the business market in third-quarter 2016; the market, comprising laser and business inkjet devices, declined by 2.7 percent, but the value increased by 2.7 percent . The highest-value growth was in 31 ppm and faster color devices, a positive trend that has been seen for more than a year now.

“The negative trend in the printing and imaging industry continued in thrid-quarter 2016,” commented Delphine Carnet, senior research analyst in IDC’s Western European Imaging, Hardware Devices, and Document Solutions group. “In addition to a bleak Western European market, we have observed for the first time since first-quarter 2013 a double-digit decline for the very successful business-inkjet devices. All price bands have seen declines, showing that this is a global market trend.”

Main Highlights

  • The overall Western European printer/MFP market declined by 1.4 percent year-over-year in third-quarter 2016, with laser growing slightly, at 1.9 percent.
  • Few segments saw any significant growth, with A3 mono printers and A4 color MFP devices showing the only real laser growth in Western Europe.
  • Business inkjet declined by 13.1 percent, with MFPs responsible for the decrease, while printers increased by 3.8.

Country Highlights


The German market followed the overall Western European negative trend with a 6.6 percent decline after four negative quarters. The business-inkjet market performed below the Western European average, with a decrease of 20.4 percent compared with the regional average of 13.1 percent.

After the laser market in Germany posted negative growth for more than a year, the market grew by 3.8 percent with a 12.9 percent increase for the color segment but a 1.5 percent decline for mono devices. The inkjet market also decreased, by 12.2 percent, with consumer inkjet showing a 9.1 percent decrease.

Both MFPs and printers saw declines, with an 8.3-percent decrease for MFPs and a 0.4-percent decline for printers.


According to IDC, France’s performance was in line with the Western European average but still showed an overall decline of 1.3 percent in third-quarter 2016 over the same period last year. Inkjet increased by 1.1 percent, but laser declined by 9.1 percent, s reversal of Western European trends.

The inkjet-consumer markets increased by 2 percent and business inkjet decreased by 6.2 percent, a smaller decline than in the regional market. Inkjet MFPs grew by 0.6 percent, but laser MFPs increased by 18.1 percent.

The United Kingdom

The United Kingdom recorded a poor performance again this quarter, with a 5.3 percent decline. This is stronger than the negative trend seen in Western Europe. Business inkjet also performed below the regional average, with an 18.4 percent decrease. Both the laser and inkjet markets declined, but IDC  saw very strong growth in A3 inkjet printers (+66 percent) and A4 laser MFPs (+21.2 percent).

For more information about IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Hardcopy Peripherals Tracker in EMEA, contact IDC’s Phil Sargeant at

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