Hewlett Packard (HP) has retained its position as the market leader for printer, copier and multifunctional (MFP) product shipments to Australia increasing units shipped by a whopping 43.3 per cent in the first half of 2007.
According to Gartner, the combined printer, copier and multifunctional product (MFP) shipments in Australia totaled 1.17 million units in the first half of 2007, an increase of 7.3 percent compared with the same period last year.
Shipments of copiers and MFPs outperformed the page printer market in the first half of 2007 and grew 21 percent compared with the same period of 2006.
But the big mover and shaker was Hewlett-Packard which accounted for almost half of the total market share. HP shipped 516,252 units in the first half of 2007, an increase of 43.3 percent compared to the same period in 2006, and captured 44 percent of the total market.
Canon, Epson and Lexmark maintained their positions but all saw their share drop. Lexmark had to face the strongest decline, with shipments falling 35.9 percent compared to the first half of 2006.
Gartner research analyst Jackie Yeung said the printer and copier/MFP market in Australia is mature, and shipment growth will be nearly flat from 2006 through 2011, despite continuing strength in the Australian economy.
"Add to that falling prices in some segments, and you have a very tough competitive market," Yeung said.
"So far this year, sales in this market were primarily driven by a 46 per cent increase in A4 copier and MFP shipments. The 27 percent year-over-year growth in MFP shipments offset the 56 per cent decline in stand-alone copier shipments.
"The printer market declined because of the shrinking inkjet printer market, but the inkjet MFP market led the growth as many users replaced their inkjet printers with inkjet MFPs."
Gartner predicts that slowing printer, copier and MFP market growth will see vendors work to retain their current customers and attract potential customers from competitors.
"Vendors in this segment should understand the customer's current and future needs for printing, copying, scanning and faxing to increase their customer loyalty," he said.
"Customers are consolidating their output devices with an MFP in their office to increase staff productivity, improve operational efficiency and minimise the cost of maintenance and supplies.
"In addition, business users are increasing in-house colour printing to save the cost of using external print shops and due to declining hardware and print costs."
Founded in 1979, Gartner serves 10,000 organisations and has 3,900 associates, including 1,200 research analysts and consultants in 75 countries worldwide.