Asian printer market will contract in 1998, says Dataquest

Asian printer market will contract in 1998, says Dataquest

Total spending on printers in the Asia-Pacific region will be down by two per cent in 1998 after a major surge the year before, predicted the Dataquest subsidiary of GartnerGroup.

The severe economic downturn in key markets this year is behind the decline, according to Lane Leskela, senior industry analyst for Dataquest's Asia-Pacific printer and channels program.

The Asia-Pacific printer market had posted strong growth in 1997 as shipments exceeded 6.7 million units, a 37 per cent increase from 1996 when unit shipments reached nearly 5 million units, according to Dataquest.

The four largest markets in Asia-Pacific were responsible for 69 per cent of the region's printer shipments in 1997. South Korea accounted for 23 per cent of the total shipments, followed by China with 21 per cent, Australia at 15 per cent, and Taiwan at more than 10 per cent. China was the fastest-growing printer market, as 1997 shipments increased 80 per cent over 1996 figures.

The top three printer vendors in Asia-Pacific accounted for 70 per cent of the market. Hewlett-Packard retained the number one vendor position with 30 per cent of unit shipments in 1997. Epson was the number two vendor with 23 per cent market share, followed by Canon which held on to the third spot with 17 per cent market share.

Hoewever, unit sales will be flat in 1998, with decreasing prices causing the slight drop in overall sales value, Dataquest said.

"In 1998, Dataquest expects the total demand for printers in Asia-Pacific to approximately equal that of 1997, with about 62 per cent of the market represented by ink jets, 18 per cent by page/laser printers, and the remaining 20 per cent contributed by dot matrix models," said Leskela.

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