Global printing dips but APeJ bucks trend

IDCWorldwide page volume from digital hardcopy devices has dipped to 2.98 trillion in 2012 from 3.03 trillion in 2011, a decline of 1.5 percent year over year, according to IDC.

However, in spite of the decline, the world continues to print at a good clip. Developed countries continued their negative page growth trend, driven by digital workflows, adoption of managed 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, more than 50 percent 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 percent year-over-year page 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.

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 3 A4 Mono MFP page position, displacing Xerox.