Multi-function inkjets have been registering a solid growth year-on-year since 2004, according to IDC. "While the initial round of growth in sales was driven primarily by the novelty factor associated with multiple functions integrated into a single printing and imaging device, the latter part of the growth was catalysed largely by low prices, coupled with sustained vendor aggressiveness. However, IDC expects the growth to be relatively softer in 2006, as the market begins to stabilise gradually", said Rishi Ghai, peripherals analyst for IDC Australia.
Low price points have been the highlight of 2005. The sub $150 devices, which constituted only 11% of multifunction inkjet sales in 2004, accounted for a substantial 42% of the shipments in 2005.
"It is interesting to note that while in 2004 only one vendor had offerings in the sub-A$150 space, 2005 witnessed all multifunction inkjet vendors enter this segment as a key focus area. With price competition still possessing momentum, the entry-level level devices are expected to grow their share of shipments further during the course of 2006", added Mr Ghai.
Vendor rankings (in unit shipment terms) saw a shuffle in 2005 as compared with the previous year. While HP continued to garner the highest share, Canon displaced Lexmark one rank down to occupy the second position. Epson maintained its fourth rank, while Brother overtook Dell to claim the fifth position.
IDC Multifunction Inkjet Vendor Rankings, 2005 (in unit shipment terms):
'¢ HP: 39.5%
'¢ Canon: 19.1%
'¢ Lexmark: 17.9%
'¢ Epson: 11.0%
'¢ Brother: 7.4%
'¢ Dell: 5.1%