The combined printer, copier and multifunctional product (MFP) shipments market in Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) totalled 52,6-million units, an increase of 4,3% in 2007 compared with 2006, according to Gartner.
”The current period of unit growth may not continue,” warns Cecile Drew, principal research analyst at Gartner. “Financial constraints, the economic climate, and, more importantly, increasing environmental and health-scare pressures could have a detrimental effect on unit sales, hardware prices and cost-per-page margins. Vendors must be firmly focused on greener print technologies, helping customers print less, act more responsibly and promote environmental sustainability.”
In 2007, the print market was still in a period of strong unit-growth, driven primarily by the demand for MFPs, which outsold printers. Although colour-page devices continued to grow at a strong pace throughout EMEA, exhibiting an increase of 34% monochrome-page devices remained the predominant choice among
offices, with 18% growth and an 85% share of the page market.
Hewlett-Packard (HP) retained its number-one position while Lexmark was the biggest market-share loser in 2007. Lexmark’s poor performance came as a result of its efforts to pull out of the lower end of the market and move its focus to the more lucrative high-end workgroup space.
Meanwhile, Brother showed it has built up a strong brand presence with a good product mix of entry level and premium level products. These have helped it establish itself as a top-five ranked manufacturer in the serial inkjet space and close the gap on the likes of Lexmark and Epson.