The paperless office is back again! (But only because print hardware supplies are jammed)

Hardcopy sales plunge double digits in Western Europe, both inkjets and lasers impacted


The Paperless Office strategy might be working finally ... but only because print vendors can't make enough hardware to satisfy demand.

Unit sales of inkjet and laser printers fell collectively by 21.5 per cent year on year to 4.07 million units in calendar Q3, according to stats compiled by IDC – that is 1.12 million fewer printers than were shifted into channels in the same period of 2020.

Production constraints and logistics issues impeded shipment volumes, and led to a 19.5 per cent drop in the inkjet segment; consumer inkjet machines fell 19.9 per cent and business models were down 16.1 per cent.

The laser market plunged 27.1 per cent and all areas of the A4, A3, monochrome, column, printer and multifunction printer (MFP) sectors declined by double digits, ostensibly wiping out any gains seen in the first half of 2021.

"Most brands are suffering from inventory issues and this ultimately affects revenues and profits, with feeling the effects more than others," says Phil Sergeant, program director at IDC in a statement.

Konica Minolta recently revised its full-year guidance, cutting its operating profit forecast by a third due to the "tight supply of semiconductors and other materials" that will limit the supply of products flowing from its Digital Workplace Business. This was compounded by an "explosion accident" at its toner plants that shut it down, meaning total production volumes will be at 75 per cent of estimated demand.

The need for printing devices and toner during the pandemic, caused by home working and home schooling, went through the roof, said IDC. This level of demand has moderated, yet some orders remain unfulfilled, said Sergeant.

Shipments declined in Germany by 16.5 per cent to circa 900,000 units – roughly 83,000 lower than a year ago. France was down more than 27 per cent to 759,000 and the UK dropped nearly 24 per cent to 682,000. Italy dropped 23.7 per cent to 516,000 units and Spain was down by the same percentage got 306,000.

In the first half of this year, the printer market rebounded in Western Europe, growing 18.9 per cent to 5.15 million units in Q1, and 18.8 per cent in Q2 to 4.39 million units.

Some 450 billion fewer pages were printed in 2020 because of COVID-19 disruption, that represents a plunge of 14 per cent to 2.8 trillion pages. Those print volumes are not expected to reach the same levels again. ®


Other stories you might like

  • Meg Whitman – former HP and eBay CEO – nominated as US ambassador to Kenya

    Donated $110K to Democrats in recent years

    United States president Joe Biden has announced his intention to nominate former HPE and eBay CEO Meg Whitman as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Republic of Kenya.

    The Biden administration's announcement of the planned nomination reminds us that Whitman has served as CEO of eBay, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, and Quibi. Whitman also serves on the boards of Procter & Gamble, and General Motors.

    The announcement doesn't remind readers that Whitman has form as a Republican politician – she ran for governor of California in 2010, then backed the GOP's Mitt Romney in his 2008 and 2012 bids for the presidency. She later switched political allegiance and backed the presidential campaigns of both Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden.

    Continue reading
  • Ex-Qualcomm Snapdragon chief turns CEO at AI chip startup MemryX

    Meet the new boss

    A former executive leading Qualcomm's Snapdragon computing platforms has departed the company to become CEO at an AI chip startup.

    Keith Kressin will lead product commercialization for MemryX, which was founded in 2019 and makes memory-intensive AI chiplets.

    The company is now out of stealth mode and will soon commercially ship its AI chips to non-tech customers. The company was testing early generations of its chips with industries including auto and robotics.

    Continue reading
  • Aircraft can't land safely due to interference with upcoming 5G C-band broadband service

    Expect flight delays and diversions, US Federal Aviation Administation warns

    The new 5G C-band wireless broadband service expected to rollout on 5 January 2022 in the US will disrupt local radio signals and make it difficult for airplanes to land safely in harsh weather conditions, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.

    Pilots rely on radio altimeter readings to figure out when and where an aircraft should carry out a series of operations to prepare for touchdown. But the upcoming 5G C-band service beaming from cell towers threatens to interfere with these signals, the FAA warned in two reports.

    Flights may have to be delayed or restricted at certain airports as the new broadband service comes into effect next year. The change could affect some 6,834 airplanes and 1,828 helicopters. The cost to operators is expected to be $580,890.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2021