Led by the inkjet sector, printer sales reached their highest levels since 1999, in terms of unit shipments, according to channel research company Inform.
The total printer market grew by 22 per cent by units shipped in the month of August, increasing 20 per cent by value over the previous month.
According to Inform, the value of sales in the printer market fell just short of the highest recorded since the research company began tracking the market, indicating a strong achievement by resellers at a time when PC sales are flat, but peripheral sales are staying strong.
Spurred on by the sale of inkjet printers, the mass merchant channel made the most gains, increasing unit sales by 43 per cent. The laser segment grew by 12 per cent over July in terms of unit sales and 15 per cent by value.
"The inkjet sector was the big boomer as its unit sales increased by 27 per cent, representing an increase of almost 15,000 units over July, a huge increase," said Inform research analyst Stuart James.
Canon led the charge in inkjet sales with other major inkjet vendors all chasing hard. Canon's inkjet market share in July was 37 per cent over HP's 22 per cent, whereas HP clawed back to 26 per cent market share against Canon's 36 per cent during August. Lexmark and Epson were not far behind with 20 and 17 per cent unit share respectivelyHP lost ground in the laser printer market in August. HP remains the dominant force, bit it will be concerned that Kyocera Mita, Brother and Lexmark have all made ground. HP's unit share dropped 7 per cent to 42 per cent of the laser market in August, whereas Kyocera Mita jumped 3 per cent to a 15 per cent share.
Although overall printer sales looked healthy in August, September may not be as bright, according to James.
"Last year we saw the printer market decline during the September Olympics and this year our preliminary data for September indicates that the market has suffered again during that month," he said. James said this was due to a decrease in consumer confidence and a natural decrease in demand following printer market saturation.