While the overall office equipment markets in NA and WE is mature, InfoTrends expects unit growth in A4 Color particularly within the 45+ppm MF speed segment and Segment 3 Business Inkjet SMB according to the recently published SF Printer and MF Hardware Forecasts for both regions.
InfoTrends believes the market will continue to shift from SF laser printers to multi-functional products and from monochrome to color engines. In fact, in 2016 MF printers represented 52% of all laser unit shipments by 2021, our forecast shows MF devices will grow to about 58% of total unit shipments. While color laser devices are also expected to grow from 31% to 34% of total shipments in North America and from 37% to 40% in Western Europe during the same period.
In North America, Office Color Laser A4 MF shipments are expected to grow at a 3.9% CAGR (compound annual growth rate) through 2021 while in Western Europe shipments there are expected to grow at a 2.5% CAGR. InfoTrends forecasts the majority of unit placements will be within the Laser Segments 2–4 (21-69 ppm) speed range as the shift to color and multi-functional devices continues in the office environment.
InfoTrends forecasts continued growth in unit shipments within our Business Inkjet Segments 3 & 4 in both North America and Western Europe through 2021. In North America, shipments are expected to grow at 6.2% CAGR while in Western Europe the combined segments are targeted to grow at a 4.6% CAGR during the same period. Shipment growth is being fueled by a new breed of high-end serial inkjet and page-wide models introduced over the last few years. This new breed of inkjet devices offers an attractive alternative to laser particularly within the SMB office environment with standard wireless connectivity, high yield consumables and in some cases, comparable cost per page to laser.
While the North America & Western Europe Laser market is a mature market there are pockets of growth opportunity as color, MF and A4 devices continue to replace traditional low-end A3 type engines in the office. Additionally, the shift to A4 printer-based MFPs will continue as these products move upstream and disrupt traditional A3 markets. Furthermore, Business Ink, particularly high-end serial and page-wide will continue to play an even greater role in the SMB market in the near future. A more detailed overview of the North America and Western Europe Placements, ASP and Hardware Revenue Forecast from 2016-2021 can be found at the following link below.