According to research released by International Data Corporation (IDC), in the second quarter of 2013 the overall hardware market returned to growth, with commercial markets leading the way as laser shipments increased year-on-year by 11,6%, while inkjet shipments remained flat.
The overall market increased 4,3% in the second quarter of 2013 to just over 4,69-million units compared to 4,5-million units a year ago. However, strong competition in many segments led to a 3,3% decline in the dollar value market for hardware in 2Q13 compared to 2Q12.

“Mobility, security and the explosion of digital content is driving the need for modern devices that control, monitor and enable users to print at their convenience while ensuring that businesses comply with the latest regulations,” says Arnaud Gagneux, director of IDC’s Western European Imaging Hardware Devices and Document Solutions group.

“Businesses are therefore resuming their investment in more efficient and productive imaging hardware.

“This is illustrated by the growth of laser devices and business inkjets. While household printing needs are limited, businesses are streamlining their fleets, optimizing their processes and leveraging the latest technologies to enable their management to focus on core business priorities.”

Phil Sargeant, programme director of IDC’s Western European Imaging Hardware Devices and Document Solutions group, says: “There have been signs in recent quarters that market declines were slowing, and particularly strong laser shipments in CY2Q have led to the first year-on-year growth for the hardware market for two years.

“More countries that displayed growth than declines but it remains to be seen if this momentum can continue for the rest of the year. Strong laser shipments indicate higher investment and spending by the commercial markets, but consumer markets still show some weaknesses.”

The majority of the market leaders showed good year-on-year growth. The top five market leaders were also ranked the same as CY1Q. The top five vendors accounted for over 87% of all shipments, the majority of which are inkjets.

The overall Western European hardcopy market increased year-on-year by 4,3% in 2Q13, but some country growth patterns remained negative.

Total inkjet markets remained flat as they increased by a modest 0,1% in the second quarter of 2013 from the second quarter of 2012. Inkjet printers continued to decline as expected and MFP shipments increased.

The majority of market growth is due to increases in laser products, which is a positive indicator that confidence is returning to business markets. Both printers and MFPs showed double-digit growth.

Colour products showed the strongest growth year-on-year at 17,3%. Indeed the whole colour segment showed strength with both the overall A4 and A3 segments in printers and MFPs increasing.

The overall monochrome market increased year-on-year by 10,1%, but the difference to colour is that the A3 market continued to slide as expected.

Business inkjets increased year-on-year by 22,5% to over 345 000, but consumer inkjets contracted once again by 2,3% to just over 2,56-million.

High speed inkjets bounced back to record year-on-year growth of 57,1%.