Print server market in decline

Print server market in decline

The print server market has posted its lowest result in over two years, according to research group IDC.

The analyst group has released total Australian print server market figures for the second half of 2003 (July to December).

In terms of unit shipments, the total print server market has declined by 11.5 per cent in year-on-year terms.

IDC said the main contributor to this decline had been internal ethernet print servers, sales of which contracted by 96.3 per cent compared with the same period last year.

To make up for this decline, internal fast ethernet/gigabit ethernet print servers should have grown, but they managed only a 4.6 per cent increase off a larger installed base, IDC said.

“HP, the long-time leader in this market space, once again held the number one position in the second half of 2003 with a 37.1 per cent market share,” IDC hardware analyst, Michael Sager, said. “In second position was Kyocera with 14.7 per cent share, an increase of more than one point from the first half of 2003.”

Following in third position was Lexmark with a 9.8 per cent share of the local market, he said.

“Rounding out the top five were Canon and NetGear with 5.5 per cent and 5.3 per cent share respectively,” Sager said.

Vendors such as HP and Lexmark have historically performed better in the local print server market, according to Sager, as they are able to offer both external print servers and devices that are network ready.

“While the internal market continues to grow, there are areas of opportunity for external devices, especially in the SME segment,” he said.

Sager forecast that the market should continue to remain buoyant, as the printing devices continue to become more networked in the future.

“IDC also expects to see an increase in wireless print servers over time as the technology becomes cheaper and more available to the market,” he said.

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