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India A4 Printer Market touches 7.45 lakh unit shipments in 2Q 2013, falling 6% YoY; HP, Canon and Epson emerge Top 3 OEMs

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Contribution of Single Function Printers drops from 49% to 44% in terms of overall A4 printer sales during 2Q 2013

Wi-Fi, duplex printing and touch-screen interface support among most important emerging customer preferences

According to CMR’s India Monthly A4 Printer Market Review, 2Q 2013, August 2013 release, the country recorded shipments of 7.45 lakh A4 printers during 2Q (April-June) 2013.

India A4 Printer Market 2Q 2013

In the overall India A4 printer market, HP maintained its leadership position with a 47% share in terms of sales followed by Canon with 20% and Epson at 13% during the period April-June 2013.

Technology-wise Market Trends

Dot Matrix Printers (DMPs): Epson emerged the leader with a 53% unit shipments share followed by TVSe and WeP. DMP market witnessed the maximum fall of 28% in 2Q 2013 vis-à-vis 2Q 2012.

“The DMP market has stagnated and absence of deals and decreased Government buying has seen the segment decline over the years. It is very unlikely that the DMP market will see growth in this segment before 2015 or at least till such time as a new government is formed after the general elections in 2014”, said Sumanta Mukherjee, Lead Analyst, CMR InfoTech and Channels Practices.

“Expansion of organised retail and statutory requirements such as preserving document copies over a length of time can provide another window of opportunity for the DMP market to grow. However, macroeconomic conditions and the overall business environment are likely to influence investments in expansion of organised retail in the country”, Sumanta surmised.

Inkjet A4 Printers: HP led the market with a 52% units share followed by Canon with 23% and Epson at 22%, respectively during 2Q (April-June) 2013. All the vendors are very aggressive in this category, especially in the Inkjet Multi Function printer segment. In 2Q 2013 Inkjet Multi Function printers witnessed a growth of 5% in sales compared to 2Q 2012, whereas Inkjet Single Function printers saw a fall of 50% during the same time-frame.

Laser A4 Printers: HP retained the top spot with a 51% units share. Canon and Samsung grabbed the second and third place, respectively. Laser category witnessed growth of 6% in 2Q 2013 compared to 2Q 2012. In the overall Laser category, Laser Single Function printers witnessed a fall of 14%, whereas Laser Multi Function printers witnessed a healthy growth of 38% in 2Q 2013 compared to 2Q 2012.

“These numbers point to the trend of increasing demand for multi function printers amongst customers. With vendors like Ricoh, Konica Minolta, Brother and Pantum launching new models and pursuing aggressive promotional campaigns, the laser multi function printer segment is expected to grow over time”, Sumanta added.

Emerging Customer Preferences

As is evident from the figures in Table 1, shipments of Single Function A4 printers as a category have been declining sharply over the years.

“For just a little more room on the user’s desk, multi function printer-copier-scanners do much more than simply print documents. Thus, demand for multi function printers has increased over time. The price differential between Single Function Printers and Multi Function Printers has also become progressively narrower, influencing a shift in the preference of both the consumer as well as the enterprise segment towards the multi-function category”, stated Maninder Singh, Analyst, CMR InfoTech and Channels Practices.

Further new customer preferences are for printers that are able to support Wi-Fi, duplex printing and touch-screen interfaces.

“Wi-Fi technology is now a stable and widespread feature in printers. Consumers want to be able to print remotely and wirelessly with comfort and ease. The other important preference that has emerged is for duplex printing. This was an option found only on professional printers, but can be beneficial for home users too, as it helps to save paper by printing on both sides of a sheet. Finally, touch-screen interfaces are taking the place of buttons that control the advanced functions on high-end printers”, Maninder added.

Rupee depreciation and printer prices: a challenge for marketers

A weaker Indian Rupee vis-à-vis the US Dollar and other major international currencies will put pressure on vendors to increase prices ahead of the festive season. This will not be a happy situation, especially for consumers. A sharp plunge in the value of the Rupee has already forced vendors like HP and Canon to increase their prices by 5% in 2Q (April-June) 2013.

“Although the Rupee seems to be temporarily resisting the slide against the Dollar, the existing differential itself may be large enough to force OEMs to raise prices, thereby impacting sales to consumers as well as the corporate segment”, Maninder concluded.

Notes for Editors

  1. CyberMedia Research (CMR) is a pioneering market intelligence and consulting firm that runs a comprehensive quarterly market update on the India Printers market since 1998. CMR’s India Quarterly A4 Printer Market Review compares A4 printer shipments and price points for the Inkjet SFP, Inkjet MFP, Laser SFP, Laser MFP and DMP segments.
  2. CMR uses the term “shipments” to describe the number of Printers leaving the factory premises for OEM sales or stocking by distributors and retailers. For the convenience of media, the term shipment has been interchangeably replaced with ‘sales’ in the press release, but this reflects the market size in terms of units of Printers and not their absolute value. In the case of Printers imported into the country, it represents the number leaving the first warehouse to OEMs, distributors and retailers.
  3. CMR tracks shipments of Printers on a monthly basis. However, as per convention, the market size is reported on a calendar quarter basis; in all such cases this refers to an aggregated number for the three calendar months in the quarter to which the press release refers.