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Inkjet MFPs grow by 80 percent in H1 of 2002

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DQW Bureau
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The market for inkjet multi-functions or all-in-ones as they are so called,

has taken flight in the first half of the fiscal 2002. As per IDC research in

India, the market for inkjet-based Multi Function Peripherals (MFP) has

registered an impressive growth of 79.8 percent in unit terms and 13.5 percent

in terms of value. Altogether, 9,160 inkjet MFPs were shipped in the Indian

market in the first half of 2002 as compared to 5,094 units shipped in the first

half of 2001.

As per IDC's technical definition of the product, a MFP device is a product

that can be connected to a PC and that can do at least two out of the four

document management functions like printing, copying, scanning and faxing.

Besides these basic functions, a multi function device can have additional

features like answering machine etc also.

These devices make the process of document management, in paper and digital

formats a lot easier due to convergence in printing technologies. The wait and

watch approach previously adopted by consumers both in corporate, government and

SOHO markets has given in to an increased acceptance to these machines. As a

result, the market has now been flushed with slew of new product launches from

HP, Canon and Samsung.

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A number of vendors are now expediting their plans to enter the market

because of this early evolution of this market. This is because the potential

here comes from fax and inkjet printer markets that are relatively more matured.

Vendors lead by HP have slashed the prices by as much as 25 to 30 percent

that has made the product look increasingly more affordable when compared with

an inkjet printer or a fax. Inkjet MFPs offer both these functions along with

scanning and copying in just one single device. As a result, Inkjet MFP market

has already started cannibalizing into these two markets.

In terms of vendor share, HP dominated the inkjet MFP market and improved its

market share considerably in the first half of 2002 as compared to the same

period last year. Other players operating in this arena are Canon, Sharp, Xerox

and Samsung.

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The Inkjet-based multi function products have shown the highest potential for

growth. As per IDC India, the market is expected to grow by another 45 to 50

percent in the second half of 2002 as compared to the first half of 2002. Inkjet

multi function products would continue to increase their share as they are sold

more in the small office/SMB segments, where the potential for growth is very

high.

The adoption of these devices in the home market has also started happening.

The current penetration levels of the PCs being low in these markets, hence they

offer a lot of scope for growth. These segments are price sensitive but hold a

lot of potential for the future. Most of the inkjet-based MFPs are targeted at

these segments. With the prices coming down sharply and awareness increasing,

the growth rates are expected to increase further. Since, these devices play on

space they find usage where space is a constraint and price is a barrier.

Global scenario shows an equally promising future for MFPs, with inkjet-based

MFPs accounting for almost three-fourth of the total worldwide market in unit

terms. The US MFP market exhibited solid growth with inkjet MFP shipments

growing by 58 percent in 2001 as compared to 2000. Most of the MFP growth

emanated from the sales of low cost inkjet products. One factor that contributed

to the inkjet MFP growth was the first time decline of the US inkjet printer

market in 2001. IDC believes that some potential inkjet printer customers may

have opted for multifunctional configuration during the past year.

In the coming years, while the US market is expected to control the highest

percentage of activity in the worldwide MFP market, the greatest growth

opportunities are presented in Western Europe and other regions in the rest of

the world as these geographical areas are less established in the MFP market and

expected to shower much higher growth rates.

Cyber News Service

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