Multi-function units out-compete printers

Print industry crisis

Multi-function units out-compete printers

Is the printer as a device going to be made dispensable? This is a justified question which however cannot be fully answered for the next couple of years. People still need printers. However, the number of alternatives has increased over the years. Conventional devices have a hard time keeping up with sales figures of recent years and decades while facing the success of tablets and smartphones, the best example being printers. The German print industry had to incur extreme losses in the last few years. Part of it can be blamed on the euro crisis in connection with the bad economic situation in Europa. However, the truth is that this development is continuing in stable years as well.

During the first and second quarter of 2011, the German sales figures for printer and scanners have decreased compared to recent years. The sales of printers amounted to 370 000 items, flat base multi-function units to 1 532 000 items and scanners to 126 000 items. The crisis of 2011 has been overcome in most industries. However, the multi-function units seem to be the only items to succeed in leading the print industry out of its personal crisis.

Most multi-function units do not only print, they can also send a fax, photocopy and scan. A couple of years ago, they were only used in companies. This has changed and now that these devices are more often used in private households as well the sales have been increased extremely. However this has led to decreasing figures for normal printers. The demand for multi-function units is the only thing which can ensure some kind of growth in the future. Additionally, companies try to increase sales and turnover by using consequential costs and selling more ink cartridges. The customers are dependent on buying the corresponding cartridges if they want their printer to continue working. It remains doubtful if this strategy will be able to save the whole industry.

In the third quarter of 2012, Brothers's global market share in the sale of printers, coperts and multifunction devices amounted to 7.0 percent.

HP: 37.30 percent
Canon: 20.90 percent
Epson: 15.20 percent
Samsung: 5.0 percent

Quelle: Statista