Printers used to be a pricey luxury in Asian homes, then along came ... you know what

Best not to go long on printer shares, IDC predicts copy shops will rise again

Analyst firm IDC has spotted up an uptick in the Asia Pacific region's printer market, thanks to a certain virus you may read about in the news of late.

The firm's new Worldwide Quarterly Hardcopy Peripherals (HCP) Tracker noted 5.5 per cent year-on-year growth for 2020, taking units sold from 3.3 million in Q4 2019 to 3.5 million in Q4 2020. Overall, numbers were still down 13.9 per cent for the whole of last year.

“Unlike the Western regions, home-based users have never been a big market for HCP in this region except for a few countries such as Indonesia,” said Han Jie Poh, IDC's senior research manager for imaging, print, and document solutions research at IDC Asia/Pacific.

Consumer sales rose while commercial peripherals dropped as the COVID-era change in the work and education environment inspired people to install or replace printers in their homes. Company reimbursements and government IT product stimulus packages contributed to the surge, Poh said.

But the analyst said the even the inkjet printers that sold well in late 2020 - at price points of US$50-100 - are "quite expensive for majority of the households in this region".

PCs on sale in a retail store

Asian PC shipments flatlined in 2020 as global sales soared by 13% – why?


Moving into 2021, Poj predicted sales would therefore sink to previously normal levels

"It is likely that they would outsource to copy shops for any print requirement once things return back to normal without maintaining a device at home," he said.

IDC's numbers cover single-function printers, multifunctional systems (such as all-singing fax/print/scan devices), and single-function digital copiers. The numbers covered an Asia Pacific region, but excluded Japan and China.

Inkjets were the clear top product with 66.6 per cent of the market share for Q4 2020. Lasers won 31.9 per cent of spend for the same period, with dot matrix printers still hanging on with 1.5 per cent of the market.

The demand for inkjets caused product shortages and even led some to settle for laser printers in the absence of inkjet stock, said the analyst. Entry-level lasers dominated the market.

The HCP market has shrunk, measured by shipments, since the second quarter of 2018. IDC noted that the worldwide market for HCP grew for the first time in two years - by 8.6 per cent year over year to nearly 26.2 million units - in Q3 2020. ®

Other stories you might like

  • Robotics and 5G to spur growth of SoC industry – report
    Big OEMs hogging production and COVID causing supply issues

    The system-on-chip (SoC) side of the semiconductor industry is poised for growth between now and 2026, when it's predicted to be worth $6.85 billion, according to an analyst's report. 

    Chances are good that there's an SoC-powered device within arm's reach of you: the tiny integrated circuits contain everything needed for a basic computer, leading to their proliferation in mobile, IoT and smart devices. 

    The report predicting the growth comes from advisory biz Technavio, which looked at a long list of companies in the SoC market. Vendors it analyzed include Apple, Broadcom, Intel, Nvidia, TSMC, Toshiba, and more. The company predicts that much of the growth between now and 2026 will stem primarily from robotics and 5G. 

    Continue reading
  • Deepfake attacks can easily trick live facial recognition systems online
    Plus: Next PyTorch release will support Apple GPUs so devs can train neural networks on their own laptops

    In brief Miscreants can easily steal someone else's identity by tricking live facial recognition software using deepfakes, according to a new report.

    Sensity AI, a startup focused on tackling identity fraud, carried out a series of pretend attacks. Engineers scanned the image of someone from an ID card, and mapped their likeness onto another person's face. Sensity then tested whether they could breach live facial recognition systems by tricking them into believing the pretend attacker is a real user.

    So-called "liveness tests" try to authenticate identities in real-time, relying on images or video streams from cameras like face recognition used to unlock mobile phones, for example. Nine out of ten vendors failed Sensity's live deepfake attacks.

    Continue reading
  • Lonestar plans to put datacenters in the Moon's lava tubes
    How? Founder tells The Register 'Robots… lots of robots'

    Imagine a future where racks of computer servers hum quietly in darkness below the surface of the Moon.

    Here is where some of the most important data is stored, to be left untouched for as long as can be. The idea sounds like something from science-fiction, but one startup that recently emerged from stealth is trying to turn it into a reality. Lonestar Data Holdings has a unique mission unlike any other cloud provider: to build datacenters on the Moon backing up the world's data.

    "It's inconceivable to me that we are keeping our most precious assets, our knowledge and our data, on Earth, where we're setting off bombs and burning things," Christopher Stott, founder and CEO of Lonestar, told The Register. "We need to put our assets in place off our planet, where we can keep it safe."

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022