The Inkjet Revival

Deborah Hawkins
Apr 20, 2015

Placements of inkjet printing devices for consumer and office use were positive in Western Europe in 2014. After years of downward spiraling, the 3.5% YOY growth in 2014 to 14.6 million devices provide a welcome break for the industry players. At a country level, the highest placements increase by country was in the Netherlands with 21% YOY increase. The UK, traditionally a strong country for inkjet technology, also experienced strong growth of 11.6% YOY likely linked to a stable economic situation. In addition, there have been significant developments in inkjet technology, particularly around page-wide technology in recent years that have aided this upward turn.
In 2014 InfoTrends created new segments for the inkjet market to better categorise how devices are being used. We now segment the market into 4 segments:
• Inkjet Segment 1 – Consumer Inkjet
• Inkjet Segment 2 – Inkjet devices targeted at SOHO environment
• Inkjet Segment 3 – high-end inkjet devices targeted at SMB market
• Inkjet Segment 4 – high-end Page-wide inkjet devices targeted at SMB market.

Inkjet Placements by Segment in Western Europe




Placements of Inkjet 1 devices, formerly known as consumer devices, continue to make-up the majority of total placements but have the lowest growth – in 2014 Inkjet 1 grew just 0.2% YOY to 11.1 million devices. Inkjet 2 designed for SoHo business use, placements increased 12.4% YOY to 2.1 million with a lot of those placements finding their way into France, Germany and Italy and in this segment, Canon showed particularly strong growth. Inkjet 3, business ink devices designed for use in SMB based on serial technology increased 18.6% to 1.2 million devices with Epson showing the most aggressive growth. Inkjet 4, page-wide and solid ink for business increased the most at 85.6% YOY to almost 110,000 devices with HP dominating this segment.

Market Share of Inkjet Placements in Western Europe 2014

HP had an exceptional year in Western Europe in 2014 managing to increase placements in all four inkjet segments on a year-over-year base. HP remains the absolute leader in Western Europe in inkjet accounting for more than 50.6% of all placements in 2014 but the other 3 major vendors are beginning to show focus areas by segment. For example Canon holds a very strong second position in Inkjet 1 and Brother in Inkjet 2 & 3. Page-wide is currently dominated by HP with 82.3% share.
Of course the question most people ask is if inkjet can compete with laser in business environments? InfoTrends research has shown that acceptance of inkjet differs by region of the world, but already placements of business inkjet devices (inkjet segments 2-4) have outpaced placements of colour laser devices in Western Europe so someone is certainly buying. For more insight on the use of business inkjet refer to Identifying the Business Inkjet Value Gap: A Global Study for Business Inkjet and Laser Vendors.

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