In the first three months of this year, the multifunctional printer (MFP) market fell by 6.9% in Western Europe compared to the same period in 2019. The data are shared by the consultancy IDC, which speaks of the distribution of 4.33 million equipment, with the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic being evident. In the printing sector, all segments registered declines, with the market value falling 9%, now amounting to just over two thousand million euros.
Although the values for the MFP market are in line with forecasts, IDC has seen a change in relation to the more accessible equipment sector. With the outbreak of the new coronavirus, and the consequent confinement measures, many workers were telecommuting during this period and ended up purchasing printers, which are also a resource in distance learning classes.
In a statement, IDC said that some suppliers and partners who had stock to meet short-term demand saw the number of shipments increase by two digits. However, in the case of suppliers more focused on the A3 printer market, the situation is relatively different, with some distributors experiencing declines.
In the first three months of the year, the number of inkjet printers continued to decline as expected, but there were "subtle differences" from previous quarters. The distribution of single function equipment grew during the first quarter of the year. The number of monochrome and MFP printers available on the market has more than doubled in the area of inkjet printing. Likewise, A3 paper-based equipment recorded strong growth.
Also in decline was the laser printing market, with the drop in the distribution of A4 and A3 equipment. At issue are "some proposals and installations canceled or postponed" due to the pandemic, at a time when shipments of A3 printers were particularly affected. On the other hand, some A4 equipment suppliers were unable to meet demand.