Framingham, Massachusetts-based International Data Corp., a market intelligence company covering the information technology, consumer technology and telecommunications markets, reports that worldwide shipments of large-format printers were down 4 percent in the third quarter compared to the same period last year.
The recent quarter is typically the slowest of the year, but despite overall shipments being down there were some bright spots, according to Tim Greene, research director for IDC’s U.S. large format printer tracker division.
“The third quarter is often the slowest quarter of the year in the global wide format business while the fourth quarter is often the strongest, as many print-for-pay shops take advantage of aggressive end-of-year manufacturer promotions,” Greene says. “While aqueous inkjet printer shipments declined, shipments of large format UV and eco-solvent printers grew in the third quarter based on some model-end clear outs and price cuts. While latex shipments declined slightly (in the third quarter compared to the second quarter), latex printer shipments grew 5 percent year-to-date in 2015.”
In terms of market segments, the IDC report found:
- The large-format CAD/technical printer market was soft in the third quarter, with shipments down in every region when compared to the third quarter of 2014. However, new products from the top suppliers were introduced in the third quarter that should drive a recovery in this segment in the fourth quarter and into 2016.
- On the large format graphics side, printer shipments declined 1 percent year-over-year in the third quarter. The decline of conventional aqueous inkjet graphics printers was offset somewhat by a nearly 20 percent growth in large format UV-curable printers when compared to the third quarter of 2014.
There was no change in the ranking of the top five suppliers in the third quarter, although some market share shift did occur in certain product segments. IDC’s report finds:
- The softness in the CAD/Technical market impacted HP somewhat, but HP is by far the top supplier of large-format digital printing systems worldwide. The company saw sales grow in both the latex and UV segments in the third quarter.
- Canon remained No. 2 among large-format printer manufacturers with market share of approximately 21 percent of worldwide shipments when Canon and Canon-Océ units are combined.
- Epson stayed the No. 3 worldwide supplier to the large-format digital printer market. According to IDC, the company is seeing growth in the dye-sublimation and technical printer segments and it re-launched its eco-solvent inkjet printer units at a third quarter trade show.
- Roland DG is the fourth-ranked supplier of large-format printers worldwide based on its strength in the eco-solvent market and growing presence in UV and dye-sublimation. The company recently launched its new SOLJET EJ-640, a new flagship eco-solvent printer.
- Mimaki maintained its No. 5 position among large format printer manufacturers even as the company has reorganized some of its key distribution channels.
Some other highlights from IDC’s report:
- Overall, large format printer shipments in the Latin America region grew 10 percent in the third quarter compared to the second quarter, but were still down by 7 percent compared to the third quarter of 2014.
- Modest large-format graphics printer shipment growth in North America was offset by declines in the Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) region while Asia/Pacific and Latin America were essentially flat.
- Canon-Océ and Ricoh were the leaders in the worldwide toner-based printer segment where shipments declined 7.5 percent year-over-year as users continue to shift to color inkjet for their wide format technical print volume.