The overall ANZ printer market recorded a decline in unit shipments by 7% year-on-year (YoY) and 20% sequentially during Q3. Weak business and consumer sentiment as a consequence of the global economic outlook exacerbated by European sovereign debt issues and the introduction of the carbon tax in Australia made up a difficult economic environment. Although print vendors continued the usual price discounting to encourage sell-through during the quarter, this was not enough to fuel growth in end user demand in the print market. Cautiousness prevailed and therefore spending was very conservative.
The inkjet printer market posted about 389,000 units in Q3 and declined by 12% YoY. "The lacklustre quarter was propelled by an extremely strong channel uptake in Q2 leading to stock surplus and reduced number of deals in the commercial space,” said IDC Market Analyst, Arunachalam Muthiah.
Laser printers, on the other hand, grew 4% YoY, achieving 200,000 units. Aggressive promotional efforts by Fuji Xerox Printer (FXP) mainly contributed to this growth which falsely depicts healthy demand from end users.
"Q3 was all about supply-side push and who will win the aggressive pricing battle,” said IDC Market Analyst, Cheryl Looi. "This is particularly evident in FXP’s go-to-market strategy, which was focused on differentiating themselves with steeper-than-usual price discounts. Particularly in Australia, this has resulted in Brother and Samsung losing sales to FXP in entry-level laser printer range.”
As for the ink and toner supplies, IDC has reported that the ANZ market has grown by 5% sequentially and 3% year on year. "Although vendors are being aggressive in the market, a fragile business environment has led to a very cautious spending pattern by businesses. A widespread concern exists within the market that a lot more consumers are shifting to compatible products for the obvious price advantage", said Avtar Ram Singh, Peripherals Analyst at IDC.
IDC expects a final round of aggressive price promotions to persist throughout Q4 2011. "Vendors who are able to provide channels with higher profit margin and emphasise on passing the extra savings to end users, will have a higher chance of gaining wallet share in the Christmas period,” concluded Looi.