Canon aim to catch HP in multifunction arena

Canon aim to catch HP in multifunction arena

With a strong foothold in the single function arena, Canon is now eager to capture a bigger chunk of the multifunction printer space and claims it will use its channel to help boost market share.

Global IDC figures show Canon is chasing HP in the worldwide inkjet printer market (including MFPs), with HP capturing a 44 per cent marketshare last year. Epson was second (20 per cent), Lexmark third (16 per cent) and Canon next (15 per cent).

HP was also the market leader in the MFP space in the Australian market, according to GfK analyst, Lisa Murphy. But Canon had made gains in the past 12 months at HP’s expense.

“Where we have been playing catch-up is in the all-in-one [MFP] inkjet category,” Canon Australia’s marketing manager, consumer imaging products group, Stuart Poignand, said. But Canon was blazing a trail in the single function printer market in Australia. “The point is — and I don’t want to get into a public slinging match with HP — Canon has been the traditional market leader in the stand­alone printer space with our bubble jet printers in Australia for several years now,” he said.

“Our leadership of the standalone printer space has been increasing over the past six months to the point where we now have a 50 per cent share of standalone inkjets for the year-to-date.”

Poignand attributed the increase in growth across the single function printer market to direct photo printing from digital cameras.

This was also starting to drive the MFP space, he said.

GfK put Canon’s share of the MFP pie at 27 per cent, Poignand claimed.

Acknowledging Canon was late to market with a full MFP range, Poignand said its strategy to increase market share includes rolling out products with improved performance and functionality.

“We’re producing products that don’t compromise any one aspect of performance,” he said.

“The primary thing getting people hyped about is print, copy, scan [and also faxing]. Our aim is to offer consumers the best quality/capability in each of those functions in one device.”

Poignand said the company would also lean on its strong brand, and promotional platform, along with its deep channel connections, to soup up Canon’s MFP activity.

“For the channel, generally, Canon’s strength is its close, direct relationships, which cover a very wide distribution.

“So where many of our competitors — and HP is certainly one of those — go to the smaller resellers through distributors, we have direct relationships with many of those resellers, which aids in a closer strategic alignment.”

And while HP was ahead of the pack on the global front, the local inkjet picture told a different story, Poignand said.

“In Australia, the Canon share is much higher than it is internationally,” he said.

Recent GfK research shows Canon leads the overall inkjet race, followed by HP, Epson and Lexmark, respectively.

GfK said the the top three com­panies (in terms of units) in the total inkjet market (including MFPs and single-function printers) were: Canon (40 per cent), HP (32 per cent) and Epson (16 per cent).

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