What Has The Printer Market Got In Store For You?

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Printer sales through the dealer channel in AMJ quarter 1999 declined by 19.8 percent and 24.5 percent by units and value respectively as compared to the JFM quarter. However, unlike the traditionally dull AMJ quarter, this year saw relatively much higher sales in this period. This is clearly evident, as there has been a growth of almost one and half times by numbers when compared to the same period last year.


The AMJ quarter for this year turned out be the most rewarding to the dot matrix printer (DMP) dealers as this technology saw the minimum decline amongst the various technologies as compared to the previous quarter. An unusually high demand from the Government and the medium business segment kept the demand flowing for this technology.


While the DMP vendors did quite well, almost all the inkjet vendors except Hewlett Packard (HP) found the AMJ quarter very dull. The leading DMP vendor, TVS-Electronics, did exceedingly well this quarter. Besides improving its numbers in the channel market, it also managed to pick up couple of very large orders in the quarter. Epson, which had run across some serious delivery problems in JFM 1999, improved its numbers this quarter. Wipro, however, was unable to en-cash much on the DMP boom. Besides, facing certain delivery related issues, this vendor also saw its focus shifting this quarter to certain internal restructuring issues, which led to a decline in its market share.


The inkjet market retained its market share and declined almost in accordance to the industry average. HP, which had seen declining market share in the previous quarter, improved its position significantly in AMJ 1999. Epson retained almost a stable market share amongst inkjet vendors.


However, other vendors like Modi-Xerox and Canon that had done very well in the last quarter were unable to make their presence felt in the AMJ quarter. Lexmark, however, managed to perform relatively better in the monochrome inkjet segment.


The following figure shows the market share held by the top printer brands in terms of sales through the dealer channel in AMJ 1999.


Brand Percent share
HP 47.9 %
Panasonic 0.2 %
Epson 18.2 %
TVSE 14.7%
Others 2.5%
Wiper 11.9%
Lexmark 2.9%


The following table lists the top five printer models and their market shares in terms of sales through the dealer channel in AMJ 1999:

Model Percent share
 HP DeskJet 695Cci 31.3%
 Epson LX 300 5.2%
 TVSE MSP 245/245+5.0%
 HP LaserJet 6 L Gold3.9%
 TVSE MSP 345 3.8%




With a boom in the DMP market it was obvious to see the DMP models improving their performance in the AMJ quarter.


However, amongst non-impacts, leading HP models managed to retain their market share. HP’s DeskJet 695Cci continued to occupy the slot of the leading printer model catering to almost one third to the total sales. Its laser model LaserJet 6L Gold retained the rank of the fourth most popular model occupying almost the same market share as in last few months.


A very close competition was observed between Epson’s LX 300 and TVSE’s MSP 245/245+ through the quarter. TVSE’s 24-pin model MSP 345 did quite well this quarter and occupied the rank of the fifth most popular printer model in the market.


Average Sales Value


The overall average sales value (ASV) of printers which had gone very high in JFM 1999 again came down this quarter. However, a growth of almost three percent was observed in the ASV of the dot matrix printers. This was mostly in the 24-pin category as no price change was observed in the nine pin market.


Inkjets witnessed a marginal decline in their ASV as compared to the previous quarter. A rise in the contributions of laser printers falling in between 8-10 ppm speed category, which is mostly HP’s LaserJet 2100 series, contributed immensely to the rise of the overall ASV of the laser market.


Leading Technologies


AMJ 1999 brought in good news for the DMP vendors. Although, many of the dot matrix sales taken place this quarter was actually a spill-over from JFM quarter, increased DMP numbers in June 1999 are a clear evidence of the continuing demand for this technology in the market. With increased demand coming from the government as well as the medium business segment, aggressive marketing by DMP vendors have further added impetus to demand for this technology in the market. Inkjets, despite witnessing a decline in their market share in June 1999, managed to cater to the half of the sales in the printer market. Lasers, however, saw their market share declining and witnessed the maximum decline in their numbers amongst all technologies as compared to the previous quarter.


The following table shows the contribution of different technologies in the sales through the dealer channel in AMJ 1999.

Printer Technology
 Market Share (percent)
Inkjet 51.5%
Dot Matrix 40.2%
Laser 8.2%



Leading Models by Brand


An increase in the contribution of HP’s inkjet models to the total HP sales was witnessed this quarter. DeskJet 695Cci single handedly catered to 65 percent of total HP sales. DeskJet 200Cci, however, had to compete with Lexmark’s CJ 1000 in monochrome inkjets category. HP’s laser model LaserJet 6L saw its contributions declining as compared to its performance in JFM 1999.


Epson’s LX 300 continued to be the most popular model this quarter.


However, Epson’s inkjet model, Stylus Color 440, which had a very high contribution in the previous quarter came down significantly in its contributions to total Epson sales in AMJ 1999. An improvement of three percentage points was observed in the contributions of LQ 1070+ to total Epson sales.


TVSE’s three models viz. MSP 245/245+, MSP 345 and MSP 240+ accounted for more than 80 percent of the total TVSE sales made through the dealer channel. All these three models saw their contributions improving in AMJ quarter while other models saw a decline.


Wipro’s LQ 1050+DX gained again this quarter to occupy the leading rank amongst Wipro models. LX 800 maintained almost the same contributions while EX 200+ saw its contributions improving by five percentage points.


The following table shows the best selling models of the top brands in the sales through the dealer channel in AMJ 1999.

HP
 EPSON
 TVSE
 WIPRO
DeskJet 695CciLX 300MSP 245/245+LQ 1050+DX
 LaserJet 6L GoldStylus Color 440MSP 345LX 800
 DeskJet 200CciLQ 1070+MSP 240+EX 200+

Leading Brands by Technology


Amongst the leading inkjet vendors, HP regained its lost market share as there was hardly any competition from other printer vendors like Canon and Modi-Xerox. Epson also saw its market share declining further in the printer market.


The DMP market saw TVSE retaining its market share as well leadership position amongst DMP vendors. Epson, also did very well amongst the dot matrix vendors and improved its numbers. Wipro, however, fared very badly this quarter and went down significantly in its contributions to the overall DMP market. Laser market also saw HP overtaking other vendors and establishing its monopoly in the market.


The following table shows the best selling brands among the leading technologies in the sales through the dealer channel in AMJ 1999.

Inkjet
Dot Matrix
  Laser
HP TVSEHP
Epson EpsonModi-Xerox
LexmarkWipro 

Buyer Segments


AMJ 1999 saw an increased contribution from the Government and the Medium Business segment. The small business segment also saw an increase in its contributions. However, all other segments saw their market share declining in AMJ quarter. The home segment which was earlier rising at a very high rate in its demand for printers, also seems to stabilised in the AMJ quarter.


The following figure depicts the shares of the various industry segments in the sales through the dealer channel in AMJ 1999.


Buyer Segment
Market Share
(percent)

Government 7.3%
Large Business13.9%
Medium Business 21.6%
Small Business 24.8%
Small Office15.0%
Home 15.7%

 Dealer Expectations


With sales being above average in AMJ 1999, dealers are looking at JAS quarter on a very positive note. With dealers from the North being the most optimistic, dealers across the country expect an overall growth of 28.8%* in the coming quarter.


(*Estimated on the basis of the feedback from the dealers)


Courtesy: IDC, India


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