A price war within the laser printing market has failed to generate sales for the channel, leaving many resellers struggling within the constraints of razor thin margins.
According to market analyst Inform, the average price for laser printers in the channel dropped 15 per cent in February, and unit sales decreased by 7 per cent on January figures. This led to value sales dropping 21 per cent.
"Unfortunately, this price decrease has only done damage to the value of laser printers and the channel, which will consequently suffer from lower margins," said Inform research director, Chris Herbert.
The overall printer market experienced negative growth of 4 per cent in unit sales and 17 per cent in terms of overall value sales. The inkjet market dropped slightly with unit sales decreasing 1 per cent.
Herbert believes businesses will continue to turn to laser technology.
"With Lexmark now aboard the dealer convoy, the vendor showed exemplary increases in unit sales through this channel," Inform said in its weekly market report Infocus. "A significant number of low-end, cheaper Lexmark inkjets sold through traditional dealers in February, as opposed to January when lasers were their core sales."
The good news, according to Inform, is that more than ever printers are being sold through traditional dealers, with the sector growing 32 per cent in February despite a drop in the value of their products. The corporate sector also grew with a 14 per cent increase in units, despite a 5 per cent drop in value. Hewlett-Packard leads the field in this sector with its LaserJet 1100 offering.