IDC Research Shows that Hardcopy Peripherals Market in Central and Eastern Europe Continues to Fall due to Weak Consumer Demand
17 Sep 2013
Prague, September 17, 2013 – Weakening demand among consumers caused the Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) hardcopy peripherals (HCP) market to decline by 10.3% year on year in Q2 2013, according global research and consulting company IDC, with just over 1,696,000 units shipped.
"The continuing decline of the CEE market in terms of shipments stems mainly from weak consumer demand due to the region's struggling economies and high unemployment rates," said Mr. Mitri Roufka, IDC's research director for imaging, printing, and document solutions in the CEMA region."On top of the limited disposable income of consumers, printing at home remains a low priority requirement."
However, the picture was a mixed one, with much of the decline attributable to early recessionary signs in CEE's biggest market, Russia. "A fall in investments and in demand for raw materials saw Russia's GDP growth forecast for Q2 2013 slashed by half a percentage point," continued Roufka, "and were it not for the 14.3% year-on-year fall in Russian shipments, the market for laser HCPs in CEE would have recorded only a moderate decline around 6%."
Roufka went on to emphasize the contrasting fortunes of the region's inkjet and laser HCP markets, pointing out that IDC's data suggests that demand for inkjet devices was inflated by bundled deals in the past. "Vendors' efforts to replace their inkjet lines with higher-value devices that use less expensive consumables have brought an end to the bundles that characterized the inkjet market, and as a result, a more realistic picture of demand is emerging. Inkjet vendors are increasingly targeting small and medium-sized businesses with these new devices: Such businesses are responsible for generating almost 76% of all pages produced in the home/office segment."
There was, however, good news for HCP vendors: business demand, especially for laser devices, remained strong in most CEE markets. "The key message to take from the latest data is that, to businesses – the main buyers of laser devices – printing remains a core need despite the turbulent business environment, and companies continue to refresh their printing fleets. The small decline (3.8%) of laser shipments in first half of 2013 (and mainly because of Russia) is indicative only of broader economic difficulties, inevitably a significant factor in determining businesses' IT investments," Roufka explained. "This also refutes popular theories that 'printing is dying' or that a 'dramatic impact of tablets on the printing industry' is imminent, or even advice to laser HCP vendors that they had better start thinking about more profitable businesses like document destruction or delivering water instead of selling toner."
However, this does not mean that competition between laser manufacturers is not intensifying: End-users are increasingly looking to reduce printing costs by eliminating inefficiencies, replacing single-function and lower-speed devices with MFPs and/or faster devices with lower TCO, streamlining workflow and document processes to reduce page counts, or shifting to third-party (non-original) consumables. The last of these poses a particular headache for all HCP manufacturers.
Roufka also commented that some of the declining consumer demand may, effectively, be transferring over to business end-user segments as consumers forgo printer ownership. "We do think that some home users are shifting their personal, sporadic printing from home to the workplace," he said "a trend which particularly cash-strapped businesses may want to keep a close eye on."
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- IDC tracks A2–A4 devices in the Quarterly Hardcopy Peripherals Tracker.
- Hardcopy peripherals include single-function printers, multifunctional systems / peripherals (MFPs), and single-function digital copiers (SF DCs) for both office-based and production segments / consumer, business, and production segments.
- Data for all vendors are reported for calendar periods.
About the Research
IDC's Europe, Middle East, and Africa Quarterly Hardcopy Peripherals Tracker® tracks market trends and opportunities in the converging hardcopy peripherals markets in the EMEA region. Shipments and value of shipments are provided by end-user (home, small business, medium-sized business, large business, and government/education) and channel (direct sales, distributor/aggregator, dealer, retail, and VAR/SI) segments.
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