Hardcopy peripherals poised to begin slow recovery
Despite a 10% year-over-year increase for the full year 2012, the color laser multifunction peripheral (MFP) market declined 1% in the fourth quarter of 2012 (4Q12) as ongoing weakness in the global economy finally caught up with this segment. This marks the first quarter where color laser MFP contracted year over year to 995K units.
Overall, the worldwide hardcopy peripherals market declined 11.2% year over year in 4Q12 to 31.1 million units, according to the "International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Hardcopy Peripherals Tracker."
"The inkjet market is largely responsible for the declines due to weak consumer demand. However, business inkjet growth is solid, and these premium-priced products are helping vendors to overcome some of their consumer revenue declines. IDC expects the market will slowly begin to recover as consumer confidence returns, but growth rates will be in the single digits," says Phuong Hang, program manager, "Worldwide Hardcopy Peripheral Trackers."
Inkjet accounted for 64% of the total hardcopy peripherals market in 4Q12 with more than 19.8 million units shipped, declining 14% year over year. All regions experienced year-over-year declines in the quarter.
Monochrome laser represented 27% of the total market, up 2 points from 4Q11. Monochrome continues to be very much in demand in business environments, especially in times of financial hardship. Most pages printed are in fact monochrome, and the A4 MFP is becoming a popular model in environments where no color is required.
Color laser decreased 11% year over year on shipments of more than 1.7 million units. Eventually, color devices will overtake monochrome in volume. There are aspects of monochrome that are declining, but color is rapidly developing in both A4 and A3 markets.