IDC: Worldwide Large Format Printer Shipments Grows

According to the Worldwide Large Format Printer Tracker of IDC, the large format printer (LFP) market recorded year-over-year growth of 0.6% in the third quarter of 2014 (3Q14) with more than 78,000 units shipped, which is the fifth consecutive quarter of worldwide shipment growth. However, shipment value declined 4.0% year over year to nearly $782 million.

Phuong Hang, Program Director of Worldwide Large Format Printer Tracker, suggests, “The third quarter is often the softest quarter of the year in the global large format market. While global shipments are ahead of 2013, hardware revenue is essentially flat for 2014 so far, due primarily to vendor price promotions.”

Despite a soft third-quarter, wide format Graphics printer shipments are 3% higher through the first three quarters of 2014 versus 2013. The wide format CAD/Technical printer market segment continued to grow 5.2% worldwide in 2014, with inkjet printer shipment growth more than offsetting the decline in toner-based wide format printers.

As the wide format market leader, HP has gained share in both shipments and revenues on a worldwide basis in the third quarter, driven largely by growth in the technical segment and by the increase in HP Latex printer sales. With market share of nearly 21% of worldwide shipments, Canon maintained its second position in wide format printer manufacturers. Epson also maintained third in worldwide supplier, but saw the gains of its eco-solvent and dye-sublimation printers offset somewhat by the slowdown in the aqueous graphics segment. Roland came to fourth supplier, which is impressive because Roland only participates in the graphics side of the wide format market. Ricoh is the fifth-ranked wide format printer vendor in terms of shipments and has grown market share with entry to the wide format technical inkjet market that has added a fourth significant supplier to that segment.

The top five wide format printer manufacturers make up over 80% of global wide format shipments, but only two-thirds of revenue. With manufacturers like HP, Canon, and Epson dominating the aqueous segment, this points to the maturity of the conventional aqueous graphics and solvent inkjet markets and the fragmented nature of the wide format UV-curable inkjet segment.

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