In North America, A4 laser MFPs drive office equipment growth in 2013

Barbara Richards
Mar 27, 2014

Overall, the North America office equipment market continued to decline in total unit shipments in 2013. Total unit shipments of all office single function printers and MFPs declined 5.9% year over year; this figure includes all technologies — laser and inkjet. Once again, HP held the number one market share position in 2013 with 54.7% share. This was followed by Canon with 17.1% and Epson with 11.8% share.

Total North America inkjet shipments fell 6.4% year over year in 2013 from 20.3 million units in 2012 to 19 million units in 2013. HP held the # 1 market share position with 60.2% share, and their unit shipments were up 3.4% year over year. This was followed by Canon with 20.0% share and Epson with 15.5% total share.

Consumer inkjet shipments declined but not as sharply as the previous year, falling from 14 million units in 2012 to 13.1 million units in 2013, a decline of 6.5% year over year. HP, Canon, and Epson held the top three market share positions.

Business inkjet shipments dropped 6.2% year over year from 6.3 million units in 2012 to about 5.9 million units in 2013. Once again HP held the # 1 market position with 74.2% share overall followed by Canon with 11.4% share and Brother with 7.4% share.

Overall, the North America inkjet market was impacted by several vendors exiting the market as well as shifts in buying habits within the SOHO environment as tablets and smartphones impacted end-users’ purchasing decisions and workflow habits. Even though overall inkjet shipments declined in 2013, there were some bright spots as page-wide inkjets continued to show growth within the business inkjet segment exceeding forecast estimates.

In 2013, total North America laser single function printer and MFP office equipment shipments fell 4.2% year over year.  The majority of decline was in single function printers where shipments dropped 11.4% year over year for both color and monochrome devices. The North America laser market continues to shift from single function to multifunction devices. In terms of overall market share, HP leads with 37.6% share followed by Brother with 12.4% share and Canon with 8.2% share.

Total monochrome office laser shipments declined 2.4% year over year. The overall decline can be attributed to the drop in single-function printer shipments, which fell 8.3% in 2013. In addition, the shift from A3 devices to A4 MFPs has impacted the total monochrome laser printer market. In 2013, monochrome shipments of A3 MFPs fell 8.3% year over year whereas mono A4 MFPs shipments grew 13.9% year over year. The vast majority of growth in monochrome A4 MFPs was within Segment 3 (31-44ppm) and Segment 4 (45-69ppm) where shipments grew 91.6% and 39% respectively.

Total color laser shipments fell 8.4% year over year primarily due to the decline in single function laser printers, where shipments declined 20.1% year over year.  In line with the monochrome laser market, color MFP shipments grew around 5.4% year over year as end-users continue to shift their purchasing habits from single function to multifunction devices. Shipments of color A4 MFPs grew 6.4% in 2013, and A3 MFPs were up 3.3%.

All in all, the North America office equipment market is a mature market; InfoTrends forecasts a slight decline in total shipments in 2014. However, there are areas of growth predominately within the monochrome and color A4 laser MFP workgroup segments and page-wide business ink, as the shift to higher speeds and color continue to offer new revenue opportunities for vendors.

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