The explosion of smartphone and tablet adoption will impact printing, scanning, document management and print volumes in surprising ways over the next five years.
According to a new International Data Corporation (IDC) survey of 800 unique respondents, smartphone and tablet users – whom the survey found to be younger, more likely male, have higher incomes, and increasingly hectic travel schedules – are surprisingly more likely than non-users to drive print.

Smartphone and tablet users are more likely than non-users to print 16 of 20 business applications from their PCs.

The share of users printing from their smartphones and tablets will increase dramatically if users have their way, and the need to enable print and educate users how to print is clear.
The percentage of users who printed from their mobile devices increased dramatically in 2012, and the percentage of those who do not print, and do not want to print, will decline from almost 50% in 2012 to just 25% in 2015 according to respondents.
However, a large percentage of smartphone and tablet users do not know how to print from their devices, and a large share say their company has not yet enabled mobile printing.

While smartphones and tablets are most typically used for viewing materials on the screen, user attitudes indicate that printing from these devices will become more popular throughout the forecast period.
Expanding travel demands, access to colour printing, and corporate requirements to print certain documents are driving printing from tablets and smartphones both in the office and on the road.

Smartphone and tablet users will continue to more positively impact print volume in the 5-year outlook when compared to non-users.
“While total US mobile pages are expected to grow at a compound annual rate of 12% during the 2012 – 2016 forecast period, non-mobile pages will decline 5%,” says Angèle Boyd, group VP and GM, Imaging/Output Document Solutions at IDC. Laser MFPs and inkjets are forecast to benefit the most from mobile printing.
Additional findings from the IDC survey include the following:
* A higher percentage of tablet users than smartphone users can’t print but want to;
Smartphone and tablet users at large and medium companies print more applications more frequently than their small company counterparts;
Business-use smartphone/tablet users are more likely than their personal-use counterparts to print, and to have an interest in printing;
Most consumer applications are cited as having flat print volume, but photo and coupon printing are increasing, while newspapers/magazines, explanation of benefits, event tickets, games, airline boarding passes, and flight itineraries are decreasing;
Three mobile print services dominate at small companies whereas at large companies, a greater variety of mobile print services are cited more often;
A smartphone or tablet camera for document capture, and cloud file services (such as Dropbox) are used by more smartphone and tablet users than mobile scanners, and mobile printing services; and
Smartphone and tablet users are more likely than non-users to scan most applications examined.