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Printer Market Forecast

10 Jul, 2002 By: Gary Peterson and Chris Barnes of ARS, Inc. imageSource

Printer Market Forecast

Market Intelligence firm, ARS, recently released the company’s latest sales
forecasts for the printer industry. The company foresees that overall printer
sales will remain flat through the year 2007, increasing at an average of 4.5
percent. Overall printer sales are forecasted to rise to over 38 million units
by 2007, in light of decreasing PC sales and slowing IT spending. ARS also
predicts that the US market penetration of printers in homes that own a PC will
increase to over 66 percent by 2007, compared to 60 percent in 2000.


overall printer sales are forecasted to increase at a paltry rate of just 4.5
percent annually through 2007, sales of color page printers are expected to
average 16 percent growth annually for the next five years with 18 percent unit
growth expected in 2003. Unit sales should top 300,000 in the U.S. in 2003 and
reach nearly 600,000 by 2007 according to the latest printer industry channel
sell-through forecast report from ARS.


page printer growth should be mixed in the dealer channel. Unit sales through
traditional computer dealers are expected to taper off at nearly 5 percent a
year while unit sales growth through VARs, systems integrators, local
assemblers, and other dealers is expected to remain comfortably in the
double-digits over the next five years.



color page printer industry, today, is at a turning point. Since the early
1990’s, end users and corporate purchasing departments have shied away from
workgroup-class color printing in the office because it was usually too slow,
too expensive, and much too complex. As a result, the perceived need for color
was frequently dampened by its many practical drawbacks.


a wave of technical innovation over the last 18-months has finally helped the
speed of color printing catch up to the speed of business and brightened the
future for an industry threatened by corporate spending cuts and tighter
budgets. This first generation of tandem color page devices still has room for
improved costs, consumables management, and overall convenience. But overall,
increased customer satisfaction will invariably lead to increased customer
confidence not only in general office color use, but also in an expanded reach
of office color applications. This will lead toward greater reliance on
internally sourced color output and, in turn, toward greater profit
opportunities for those involved in the sale and lifetime support of such



believes that stagnant sales of monochrome laser and standard inkjet printers
are the primary reasons why the printer industry will remain flat during the
next 5 years. Monochrome laser printers are expected to experience a growth rate
of less than 1 percent, while sales of standard inkjet printers are predicted to
increase at a rate of just 3 percent. Slowing IT expenditures and adopting new
printer technologies, namely photo inkjet and multifunction printers, will
cannibalize sales of laser and standard inkjet printers.



printers have been popular for years,” stated Gary Peterson, Director of
Research at ARS, “but the industry has yet to feel the total impact the
technology.” The adoption of multifunction printers has proven to contrast
that of previous technologies as it has been the average consumer who initially
purchased the machine, before it penetrated the corporate market. “IT managers
were shy to purchase a multifunction for the work place, fearing that if one
function of the device broke, then the entire product would be useless,”
Peterson indicated, “However, consumers have purchased multifunction printers
for their homes, noted their high quality, and are now purchasing them in the
corporate environment.” ARS notes that this new acceptance of multifunction
printers will cannibalize sales of single function laser printers and copiers,
which will push sales of the technology at double-digit rates.


similar reasons, ARS predicts that sales of photo-inkjet printers will grow at
an average rate of 19% through 2007. There is no question that digital imaging
is already wildly popular with consumers and will continue to grow in the
future. With the wider acceptance of digital cameras, consumers will covet the
ability to print their images at home. “We are noticing that consumers who
purchase photo inkjet printers are also using the products to produce their
day-to-day documents including emails, greeting cards, and web pages,” stated
Peterson, “Therefore, these photo inkjet printers are replacing standard
inkjet printers in the home, and will continue to do so as print quality and
image longevity continues to improve.”



technologies outside of the industry will also impact sales of printers,
including improved display technology and the adoption of wireless technology.
With improved display technologies, consumers will be able to read text on
computer screens with greater ease, dampening the need to print. Printing
volumes and sales will likely increase with the wide spread acceptance of
wireless technology. Printer companies are banking on “Print on Demand”
technology that allows handheld PC users to print documents from their handheld
to any printer without the need of cables or drivers.


ARS Printer Forecast Report, which is currently available for sale, details
printer sales within dozens of categories including printer technologies,
printer speeds, market penetration, price predictions, and revenue growth.
Channels of distribution including VAR resellers, computer dealers, Office
Products retailers, Consumer Electronics retailers, Warehouse Clubs, and Mass
Merchants also segmented in the ARS Forecast Report.

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