Canon is steaming ahead in the inkjet race, increasing sales 22 per cent over January according to latest figures from Inform.
Inkjet sales are bouncing back from last year's dismal figures - up 9 per cent over the Christmas period, according to the channel research company. But the growth comes at the expense of revenues with value sales dropping 4 per cent.
Canon holds 37 per cent of the market, thanks largely to the popularity of its BJC1000 which dipped below the $100 price point. Sales grew 63 per cent in December and 52 per cent in January. Lexmark also managed to gain 7 per cent more of the market over January to capture 15 per cent market share. In contrast, HP dropped 2 per cent with 28 per cent of the market, and Epson slipped 5 per cent and now holds 18 per cent, despite a high profile advertising campaign.
With the understanding that price is the key factor in the inkjet market Canon will now concentrate on reducing the cost of ownership across its product lines, focusing on features such as economy mode in its new product range. The company recently announced a new range of Bubble Jet printers, from the S400 with a retail price tag of $249 to the S4500 at $699.
According to Inform's research director Chris Herbert, Christmas sales were punctuated by razor-tight margins.
"Mass merchants took their cut of the business and soared ahead 7 percentage points from November to claim almost half of the channel's unit sales," he reports in Inform's market report Infocus. However in value terms, retail sales came in third behind corporate and traditional dealers.