Printer vendors are still reeling from last year's fourth quarter, with sales shrinking 36 per cent on Q3 figures according to the latest figures from Gartner.
"The printer market recorded a negative year on year growth of 6.3 per cent while quarter on quarter growth was a drastic 36 per cent drop," said Gartner analyst Andy Woo.
The slow PC market and lack of consumer confidence in the overall economy are the main contributors to the slowdown, catalysed by factors such as the Olympics, the GST and exchange rate fluctuations.
Epson has been most affected by the slump, with shipment growth dropping 51 per cent year on year. The company's market share is down 15.3 per cent from 29.4 per cent a year ago, according to Gartner.
In contrast, Lexmark made huge inroads into the market, its year on year shipments growing 158.7 per cent. Canon held top spot in terms of market share with just over 37 per cent, followed by Hewlett-Packard.
The fourth quarter is generally strong in the printing market. But the statistics reflect a weakness in the consumer market place, particularly in inkjets which recorded negative growth of 41.4 per cent for the quarter. Sales in laser printers, however, grew 2 per cent for the quarter.
"The laser market maintained sustained growth in the fourth quarter due to some tendering bids won by some major vendors," Woo said.