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Gartner Dataquest Says Color Printer and Copier Segments Poised for Positive Growth in 2002

24 Apr, 2002

Gartner Dataquest Says Color Printer and Copier Segments Poised for Positive Growth in 2002

The color laser copier and color laser printers markets suffered from the softer economy in 2001, but both markets show growth potential if vendors deliver the proper mix, according to Dataquest Inc., a unit of Gartner, Inc.


Gartner Dataquest forecasts U.S. color page printer hardware shipments to grow 24.6 percent in 2002, to more than 315,000 units, up from 252,000 units in 2001. U.S. color copier hardware shipments are expected to reach 44,000 units this year, an increase of 3.5 percent over 2001 shipments of more than 42,000. In 2001, shipments of color page printers increased 8.6 percent, while color copier hardware shipments dropped 6.7 percent.


"In 2002, new color page printer products will span the range from entry-level color lasers for the small office/home office to higher-speed color LED printers that will bring affordable color into the workgroup and enterprise," said Peter Grant, principal analyst for Gartner Dataquest's Digital Documents and Imaging Worldwide group. "Vendors competing in the low end color printer segment need to balance their low hardware price with an acceptable supplies price."


Users are aware of the high cost to print color. Gartner Dataquest analysts said offering a standard cartridge and a high-capacity cartridge has worked well for some vendors in helping users over the price hurdle.


"More important is to reach the magic cost per page for color that removes the barrier to cross over from monochrome to color. The cost for a color page needs to equal that of a monochrome with the same toner coverage," Grant said.


In 2002, copier vendors will move their products to higher speeds, where they will not sell large numbers of units, but hope to capture considerable page volumes. Gartner Dataquest analysts forecast significant price erosion for color laser copiers at the low end to maintain market share against color laser printer vendors.

Gartner Dataquest analysts say color copier vendors must respond faster to color desktop printers that will compete aggressively for office output. Organizations will have multiple options to buy, lease, rent or outsource and only buy the pages they print.


Additional information is available in the Gartner Dataquest Perspective, "Business Color Breaks New Ground." This report provides a look at the market accelerators and inhibitors for color copiers and printers. More detailed statistics on the industry is available in the Gartner Dataquest Forecast Database " Digital Document and Imaging Group Integrated Document Output (Copier, Printer, Fax) Forecast Database." The digital document and imaging forecast database provides U.S. copier, printer and facsimile market size data by unit shipments and end-user spending for the United States region.

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