Wednesday, 20 April 2016 01:21

Declining Asia Pacific demand for printer consumables, says IDC

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Declining Asia Pacific demand for printer consumables, says IDC Image courtesy of Idea go, freedigitalphotos.net/images

Amidst an overall decline in demand for printer consumables in the Asia Pacific region, revenues for ink cartridges have declined in contrast to the laser toner market where there’s been growth, according to the latest market report from IDC.

In its newly published Quarterly Printer Consumables Tracker, the global analyst firm says that the Asia Pacific excluding Japan (APeJ) has shown an overall printer consumable market decline of 1.3% quarter-on-quarter and 6.5% year-on-year to reach US$ 1,551.72 million in Q4 2015.

IDC says the shipment of ink cartridges in APeJ recorded an estimated 5.1% revenue decline quarter-on-quarter while the laser toner market posted a 5.3% quarter-on-quarter revenue growth.

And, among the major classifications, IDC reveals that the originals market recorded the biggest drop in revenue, with a decline of US$15 million from the previous quarter.

"There have been significant developments in the inkjet market especially in 2H 2015, with major OEM vendors launching inkjet hardcopy peripherals (HCPs) which offer ink-tanks that have extremely high page yield at very low cost of print per page (CPP),” says Jeremy Soo, Market Analyst for IPDS Research at IDC Asia/Pacific.

According to Soo, the OEM market is currently undergoing a transition in the business model where printer supplies are no longer the main source for profit “but parts of the profit margins are now split between printer consumables and inkjet hardcopy peripherals (HCPs)”.

“This has affected the revenue of originals as vendors reduce the cost of printer consumables and increase prices of HCPs.”

Soo says the PRC and ASEAN region are expected to be most affected by the change as these countries “contribute approximately 60% of the total ink cartridge shipments in APeJ”.

But, Soo says IDC believes that with all the major vendors such as Brother, Canon, Epson and HP now offering ink-tank HCPs with very competitive prices for printer consumables, the third party market is expected to experience a decline in market share as OEMs regain the upper hand.

“However, there are growth opportunities for third party vendors in the laser toner market where there are higher margins. With declining margins in the ink cartridge market, there has already been a shift in focus by the third party brands into the laser toner market with many new third party brands emerging within Asia/Pacific.”

And, Soo forecasts that, with the global economic slowdown from the deceleration in growth in China coupled with impacts from the decline in oil prices, the competitive landscape in the laser toner market will “intensify even further with third party products becoming more viable especially in developing economies in the region”.

“Third party laser toners are beginning to gain acceptance in government and corporate sectors as third party vendors begin to improve on product quality and after sales break-fix support services to contractual clients,” Soo observes.

On an overall perspective, Soo says IDC believes the ink cartridge market will be dominated by OEMs with declining competition from third party vendors “while the third party vendors will find opportunities in the laser toner market”.

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham - retired and is a "volunteer" writer for iTWire. He is a veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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