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09 Mar 2016

Technology Shifts and Buyer Demands Drive Changes in Worldwide Large Format Printer Shipments in 2015, According to IDC

FRAMINGHAM, Mass., March 8, 2016 – According to new data from the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Large Format Printer Tracker, the technology trends that are shaped by buyer demands are driving mix changes in the worldwide large format printer (LFP) market. The move to color printing in the technical market and the need for faster turnaround in the graphics business has reshaped important segments of the large format printer business, yet key technologies, such as eco-solvent inkjet, have continued to prosper.

"Overall, large format printer shipments declined by about 2% in 2015 with monochrome toner-based printers and conventional aqueous inkjet printer shipments slipping, but key areas of growth included eco-solvent, Latex, UV and color toner printers," said Tim Greene, Research Director, U.S. Large Format Printer Tracker.

Segment Highlights

• The large format CAD/Technical printer market segment declined by about 1.5% year over year in 2015, which is partly due to mix changes with the entry of high-speed single-pass aqueous inkjet printers such as HP's PageWide XL-series on the inkjet side and KIP's 800-series color toner devices, both of which came to market towards the end of 2015 and did well in the fourth quarter of 2015.

• On the large format graphics side, the low end of the aqueous inkjet market continues to decline with users shifting to electronic communications, thereby reducing the need for low-end large format proofing systems. Low-end aqueous inkjet printer shipments declined by more than 15% worldwide. That decline was offset somewhat by the growth of low-end UV-curable inkjet graphics printers that are intended to replace some of the capabilities of pad printing in the promotional graphics market.

• Shipments of large format printers that serve the durable graphics business grew by almost 10% worldwide in 2015, led by UV-curable inkjet, Latex, eco-solvent, and dye-sublimation inkjet printers.

Vendor Highlights

The top five large format printer suppliers worldwide in 2015 were, in order: HP Inc, Canon (when combined with Oce), Seiko Epson, Roland DG, and Mimaki.

HP was impacted by the softness in the CAD/Technical market through the second half of the year, where it has more than 63% share of shipments. But HP was able to grow its share of total large format printer shipments year over year in 2015 by increasing its share of the graphics market.

  • Canon's total large format printer shipments were fairly flat in 2015 but the overall market declined so Canon's share of shipments grew very slightly in 2015 to 20% overall.
  • Epson maintained its position as the number 3 worldwide supplier to the large format digital printer market but the declines at the low-end aqueous inkjet market acutely impacted Epson, which dominates that segment.
  • Roland DG was the fourth-ranked supplier of large format printers worldwide, but is actually the top supplier in the durable graphics printer segment, which includes eco-solvent, solvent, dye-sublimation, Latex, and UV-curable inkjet printers. Roland also does particularly well in the printer-cutter segment.
  • Mimaki recaptured its number 5 position among large format printer manufacturers, surpassing Ricoh. Mimaki and Ricoh work closely together with Ricoh distributing some of Mimaki's UV-curable inkjet and Latex inkjet printers.

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Worldwide Large Format Printer Shipments, Market Share, and Year-Over-Year Growth, 2015


2015 Shipments (K)

2015 Market Share

2014 Shipments (K)

2014 Market Share

2015/2014 Growth

1. HP Inc






2. Canon






3. Epson






4. Roland






5. Mimaki


















Source: IDC Worldwide Quarterly Large Format Printer Tracker, March 8, 2016

Other Highlights

• Overall, large format printer shipments in the EMEA declined by 7.8% year over year in 2015 in the graphics market, and by nearly 2% on the CAD/technical side.

• Q4 2015 was fairly strong, with shipments increasing by nearly 5% over Q3.

• Mutoh had a strong year worldwide in 2015, growing its shipments by about 20% in 2015 compared to 2014, aided by new eco-solvent, dye-sublimation, and UV-curable inkjet printers.


  • IDC tracks A2-A0+ devices in the LFP market.
  • The LFP market includes single-function printers, as well as multifunctional systems (MFPs).
  • Data for all vendors are reported for calendar periods.

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International Data Corporation (IDC) is the premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and events for the information technology, telecommunications, and consumer technology markets. With more than 1,100 analysts worldwide, IDC offers global, regional, and local expertise on technology and industry opportunities and trends in over 110 countries. IDC's analysis and insight helps IT professionals, business executives, and the investment community to make fact-based technology decisions and to achieve their key business objectives. Founded in 1964, IDC is a subsidiary of IDG, the world's leading technology media, research, and events company. To learn more about IDC, please visit Follow IDC on Twitter at @IDC.

For more information, contact:

Michael Shirer

Timothy Greene

Phuong Hang