International Data Corporation (IDC) and India-based research group CyberMedia Research have released their findings about how the printer and MFP markets fared in India in the first quarter of 2012.
IDC’s press release says that the market for hardcopy peripherals such as printers, copiers, and MFPs in India reached 834,1245 units in the first quarter, up 7.4 percent over the year-ago period and up 12.6 percent sequentially. The research firm said HP gained market share in the first quarter, when it had a 48.8 percent share of the overall market. Second-ranked Canon had a 17.2 percent share, Epson had an 11.5 percent share, and other vendors held the remaining 22.5 percent of the market.
IDC says that shipments of inkjet devices grew 1.5 percent year-over-year. The firm attributed the sluggish growth to price increases and macroeconomic pressures subduing the consumer market. Shipments of laser printer-based devices grew 18.9 percent year-over-year, while shipments of copier-based products grew 15.4 percent compared with the year-ago period.
According to articles on NetIndian, India Blooms and CRN, CyberMedia Research found that the overall printer market in the top 65 cities in India grew just 0.4 percent in the first quarter. Laser printer sales increases 4 percent in the first quarter, but inkjet printer sales declined 5 percent. The research group attributed the less-than-healthy growth rates to the weak macroeconomic outlook, hard-disk drive supply-chain dynamics, and vendors’ recent hardware price increases. HP was the market leader with a 56 percent share of unit sales of both laser and inkjet-based hardware in Q1, followed by Canon, Epson, and Samsung. CyberMedia Research said, however, that HP lost both inkjet and laser market share in Q1, Epson gained inkjet share, and Canon gained both laser and inkjet share.
While the two research companies’ estimates do not align perfectly, both IDC and CyberMedia Research point to signs of weakness in the inkjet market in India. This is worrisome for printer vendors. The consumer inkjet market has been cooling in developed markets for many years now, but traditionally OEMs have been able to rely on strong sales in emerging economies such as India. We suspect that in addition to being affected by the pricing pressures and macroeconomic forces cited by both firms, the Indian market is increasingly plagued by the same problem affecting vendors in more developed regions: consumers increasingly have many alternatives at their disposal that make hitting “print” less necessary. In developed markets, many printer OEMs have already realigned their businesses to focus less on consumer printing devices and more on office-level printers and copiers, as printing remains necessary in these environments, and it is possible we may see a similar shift in developing economies as well.