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Laser hardcopy peripherals market remained strong in 2011 despite cautious end-user spending says IDC

Laser hardcopy peripherals (HCP) grew at a notable pace last year despite market woes brought by the uncertainties in the global economy, government underspending, and numerous typhoons particularly Pedring, Quiel, and Sendong, especially in the latter part of 2011. IDC’s Asia/Pacific Quarterly Hardcopy Peripherals Tracker in 4Q 2011 found that the market for laser HCP remarkably expanded by 30.4% compared to the same quarter in 2010. This is a stark contrast compared with the declines seen in other HCP technologies namely inkjet, serial dot matrix or SDM, and line printer.

“Laser HCPs, being copiers as well as single and multi function peripherals, have significantly grown quarter-on-quarter (QoQ) in 2011,” says Pamela Sumanga, Market Analyst for IDC’s Peripherals research in the Philippines. “Much of the growth was ushered in by aggressive price drops and hard-to-resist bundling promotions involving consumer IT products like laptops, digital cameras and mobile phones, to name a few. These strategies have made laser HCP, particularly printers (or MFP), more appealing than ever before to small offices and even some home users,” Pamela adds.

By end of 2011, laser HCP represented 11.9% of the total HCP market, up from an 8.7% share in 2010. While still occupying most of the local market, inkjet’s share went down to 81.3% in 2011 from 83.9% in the previous year. SDM garnered the lowest share in the local market with 6.8%. Consequently, the total HCP market in 2011 contracted by 4.4% and reached only around 845,000 units, unlike last year’s sum of roughly 883,000 units.

The inkjet HCP faced slower demand particularly in the last quarter of the year, when vendors widely reported sluggish consumer spending. This observation was backed by the results of the 4Q 2011 Consumer Expectations Survey conducted by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, which found consumer optimism to decline from Q3 due to a less favorable outlook on family finances and family income, plus the continued high price of goods and services.

Although inkjet shipments displayed a sizeable decline, its market value nonetheless increased by 7.6% in 2011 on the back of significantly higher multi function versus single function ratio. Inkjet multi function peripherals (MFP) shipment grew by 28.9% and represented 60.0% of the total 2011 inkjet market, from only a 50.1% share in 2010. Inkjet single function peripherals (SFP) shipment, on the other hand, fell by 13.8%. According to Pamela, the heightened preference for MFPs versus SFPs was stimulated by the narrowing price gap between the two; the difference could be less than a thousand pesos these days.

For 2012, IDC expects a reinvigorated HCP market in line with the government’s positive outlook on the economy. With accelerated public expenditure, strong private investments, as well as continued expansion of household consumption expenditure, IDC expects the HCP market to post a 9.8% growth in 2012.

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