HP maintains printer market lead despite industry flatness

"The third quarter is often the softest quarter of the year in the global large format market."

The large format printer (LFP) market recorded year-over-year growth of 0.6% in the third quarter of 2014 (3Q14) with more than 78,000 units shipped.

IDC reports that this marks the fifth consecutive quarter of worldwide shipment growth despite shipment value declining -4.0% year over year to nearly $782 million.

"The third quarter is often the softest quarter of the year in the global large format market," says Phuong Hang, Program Director, Worldwide Large Format Printer Tracker, IDC.

“While global shipments are ahead of 2013, hardware revenue is essentially flat for 2014 so far, due primarily to vendor price promotions."

According to findings, the wide format CAD/Technical printer market segment continued to grow, with inkjet printer shipment growth more than offsetting the decline in toner-based wide format printers. Overall, the CAD/Technical segment is on pace to grow 5.2% worldwide in 2014.

Despite a soft third-quarter, wide format Graphics printer shipments are 3% higher through the first three quarters of 2014 versus 2013.

Vendor highlights…

HP is the wide format market leader, and in the third quarter has gained share in both shipments and revenues on a worldwide basis, driven largely by growth in the technical segment and by the increase in HP Latex printer sales.

Canon maintained its number 2 position among wide format printer manufacturers with market share of nearly 21% of worldwide shipments while Epson also maintained its position as the number 3 worldwide supplier, but saw the gains of its eco-solvent and dye-sublimation printers offset somewhat by the slowdown in the aqueous graphics segment.

Roland is the fourth-ranked supplier to the worldwide large format printer market, which IDC brands as ‘impressive because Roland only participates in the graphics side of the wide format market.”

Ricoh is the fifth-ranked wide format printer vendor in terms of shipments and has grown market share with entry to the wide format technical inkjet market that has added a fourth significant supplier to that segment.

The top five wide format printer manufacturers make up over eighty percent of global wide format shipments, but only two-thirds of revenue.

With manufacturers like HP, Canon, and Epson dominating the aqueous segment, IDC believes this points to the maturity of the conventional aqueous graphics and solvent inkjet markets and the fragmented nature of the wide format UV-curable inkjet segment.

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