Australian, New Zealand printer market recorded 10% year-over-year, 5% sequential growth in Q2 with 760,000 overall shipments, but falls 20,000 short of expectations: IDC

Australia and New Zealand , September 30, 2011 (press release) – The Australia adn New Zealand (A/NZ) printer market fell short of forecasts in Q2, 2011, as laser printers failed to fire because of challenging economic conditions.

According to IDC, the overall A/NZ printer market recorded a 10% year-on-year and 5% sequential growth in Q2 2011. However, overall shipments hit 760,000, some 20,000 short of expectations.

“Price discounting for channels and end users, particularly for lower price point inkjet models, greatly aided growth across the entire A/NZ region,” said Arunachalam Muthiah, market analyst at IDC.

Despite a drop in laser printers (-2% YoY) due to excess stock following a strong Q1 and minor supply constraints as a result of the Japan earthquake, strong uptake of inkjet printers (15% YoY) managed to drive the overall market upwards. IDC recognises an emerging trend of inkjet printers priced under $400 being positioned as low-end colour laser model substitutes, while at the same time being able to offer “laser-quality” print output.

“Weak business and consumer sentiment caused spending to be conservative. That's why we saw a supply-side push with aggressive channel promotions by vendors and retailers. This was necessary to encourage sell through, “said IDC market analyst Cheryl Looi.

HP, with a strong commercial message for its E-print technology, together with an expanded portfolio in the sub $1000 category, successfully maintained its top market share of 42%. In contrast, Brother declined by 17% sequentially in overall unit shipments. As Brother closed its financial year with strong results in the first quarter of 2011, its channels had excessive stock in Q2. Also causing its drop was that some of its supply was partially affected by the Japanese earthquake in March, and there was sluggish demand from end users.

IDC forecasts the A/NZ printer market to drop by 11% sequentially in Q3, because of the prevailing and uncertain economic conditions together with a seasonal slowdown in the printer market.

Nevertheless, end users should anticipate a final round of aggressive promotions towards the end of the year as vendors and channels will want to clear off excessive stocks.

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