Worldwide page volume from digital hardcopy devices decreased to 2,98-trillion in 2012 from 3,03-trillion in 2011, a decline of -1,5% year-over-year, according to new research from International Data Corporation (IDC).
However, in spite of the decline, the world continues to print at a good clip – annual A4 printed pages can cover the surface area of New York City 237 times.
Developed countries continued their negative page growth trend in 2012, driven by digital workflows, adoption of Mmnaged print services (MPS), and anemic economies. The silver lining for print volume in developed economies appears to be net new incremental pages from mobile devices.
While it may seem counter-intuitive, smartphone and tablet users are generating more print volume compared to non-tablet/smartphone users. IDC research indicates that mobile printing is gaining traction on a year-over-year basis and by 2015 over 50% of smartphone and tablet business users will use mobile print in the office environment.
Although mobile printing is growing rapidly on a year-over-year basis, both tablet and smartphone users need help to print from their devices. Over 50% of smartphone users and 35% of tablet users indicate that they do not know how to print from their mobile devices.
Developing countries helped to counter the negative trend in developed countries. In particular, Asia/Pacific (excluding Japan)(APeJ) led the way with 10% year-over-year page growth, followed by Latin America with 6,7% year-over-year growth.
Meanwhile, growth of pages slowed slightly in Central and Eastern Europe, Middle East, and Africa (CEMA) (-0,72%). This is in contrast to last year when all developing regions experienced growth.
IDC expects worldwide page volume to remain flat for the 2013-2017 forecast period. In addition, APeJ is expected to displace the US for the highest share of page volume by 2015. China and India are expected to be the major growth countries in the APeJ region.
From a technology perspective, monochrome laser will continue to have the largest share of pages across the forecast period. Mono laser’s installed base is forecast to grow, but pages are forecast to decline due to falling average monthly print volume (AMPV).
Colour laser has a small portion of the installed base and total pages, but it has the best outlook. For colour laser, both the installed base and pages are forecast to grow, mainly because of colour laser multifunction printers (MFPs). Colour laser page growth will also be restrained by falling AMPVs.
Inkjet’s installed base and pages are forecast to decline through 2017. Inkjet comprises the majority of the installed base, but a tiny minority of pages.
Worldwide, laser MFPs had overall positive growth in pages (+2%) with developing countries registering double-digit growth (+13,2%) in contrast to developed economies (-4,2%).
Developing countries had double-digit page growth across both mono (+11,3%) and colour (+23,2%). In contrast, developed countries had positive page growth across only colour MFPs (+7,5%) while having negative growth in mono MFPs (-9,2%). User print volume is migrating as devices move up speed bands during their refresh cycle, causing some dampening in print volume.
Worldwide, laser printers had a negative growth story. Although developing countries managed an incremental rate of page growth (+0,11%), it was not enough to neutralize a negative page trend in developed economies (-5%). Developing countries registered page growth of +4,5% in color printers in contrast to -0,5% page growth in mono printers.
Meanwhile, users continue to migrate from printer to MFP form factors.
Worldwide, colour inkjet printers continued to yield ground to colour inkjet MFPs, resulting in loss of colour inkjet printer pages (-5%) on a year-over-year basis. The impact was stronger in developing economies with a drop in printer pages of -11,5%. However, as colour inkjet users have already mostly migrated to MFPs, the impact on overall colour inkjet pages was not drastic.
HP retained the number one position for overall worldwide page share in 2012. Canon and Xerox retained the number two and three rankings in worldwide page share.
While most rankings remain unchanged, there were some notable findings. HP, driven by an increase in MFPs in its product mix, displaced Xerox as the leader in the colour laser segment. In addition, Samsung, driven by increased shipments, broke into the top three A4 mono MFP page position, displacing Xerox.