The worldwide production print market enjoyed 7.5% year-over-year growth in unit shipments in the first quarter of 2015 (1Q15), according to IDC (www.idc.com). Unit shipments grew to approximately 11,167 units (printers and MFPs), and shipment value increased 3.6% to nearly US$1.2 billion in the same time period, according to the research group.
Highlights from the first quarter results include the following:
° All of IDC’s regional markets saw positive year-over-year shipment growth in the production print market, with the exception of Latin America and the Middle East and Africa (MEA). Key contributors to the overall growth worldwide were Japan, which grew 12.4% year over year, Western Europe (13.7%) and Asia/Pacific (excluding Japan) (16.0%).
° All categories in the Production Print space recorded double-digit year-over-year gains. Mid-Production experienced 2.5% shipment growth, Production had 31.7% growth, and Label & Packaging was at 12.4% year-over-year growth.
° Color laser grew by 76.1% on a year-over-year basis. Fuji Xerox Versant 2100 Press and Konica Minolta bizhub Press C1100 have each been growing their presence in this segment and contributed significantly to the growth of the color laser market.
“Color drove the production market, and it wasn’t just high-speed inkjet having a great quarter. Color laser saw a double-digit gain as that technology grew nearly 20% on an annual basis. Mid-production color laser is also contributing quite a bit of sales volume but laser full production was the real story of the first quarter of the year,” says Amy Machado, senior research analyst, Hardcopy Peripheral Solutions, IDC. “New entrants like the Xerox Versant and the Konica Minolta bizhub PRESS C1000 – production class machines with a lower price point – are seeing very strong demand.”
High-speed inkjet presses saw nearly 40% annual shipment gains, as Ricoh had one its biggest sales quarters ever. And the digital Label & Packaging market was no slouch this quarter, growing over 10% compared to the first quarter of 2014. While inkjet is poised for growth, it’s the laser devices from both HP and Xeikon that are currently the pushing the adoption of digital in the L&P market.