Printers gave resellers something to smile about in December after sales rose 21 per cent for the month, according to channel analyst Inform.
The spike in sales saw printers finish the year with a 10 per cent year-on-year growth rate. Yet despite the positive result in unit sales, the Australian printer market lost 3 per cent in value terms over 2000, said Stuart James, Inform's chief printer market analyst.
"Competitive pricing by vendors in 2001 reduced the value take of the overall printer market. In fact, a 16 per cent increase in inkjet unit sales over 2000 yielded only a marginal 1 per cent increase in value while laser printers finished 2001 4 per cent lower in both unit and value sales year-on-year," said James.
According to Inform, traditional dealers now account for 16 per cent of the inkjet market. Corporate dealers hold 12 per cent market share, while mass merchants hold the lion's share with 47 per cent of all inkjet sales. Independent retailers and direct marketers make up the rest of printer sales through the channel.
In terms of vendor shares, Canon finished 2001 with a 36 per cent unit share of the inkjet segment, up 4 per cent on 2000. HP finished the year second, losing 7 per cent year-on-year to take 25 per cent of the inkjet share. Lexmark made a strong play for equal third place by posting 18 per cent (up 8 per cent) while Epson, also with 18 per cent, lost 6 per cent year-on-year.
HP finished 2001 outright leader in the laser segment, with a 42 per cent unit share. This was down 6 per cent on 2000. Kyocera Mita posted a solid 4 per cent increase in unit sales over 2000 to capture a 17 per cent market share and outright second place, extending it's lead over Lexmark, which with a 11 per cent share (down 2 per cent on 2000) claimed outright third.