Regional Report by Barbara Richards, Senior Analyst – Hardware Division, Infosource
The North America Scanner market grew 10.1% in the first quarter of 2021 up 3.8% from Q1 2020. In the U.S., total shipments were up 10.8% from Q4 2020 boosted by the successful vaccine roll-out and continued reopening efforts. While in Canada shipments rose 4.8% in the first quarter and were up 25% from Q1 2020 indicating the worst of the pandemic may be over. Fujitsu was the market leader in all scanner segments with (34.2%) share followed by Epson (31.9%) and Brother with (13.9%) share. The Distributed Scanner Segment improved the most in the first quarter and for the first time Workgroup scanners overtook personal devices for top quarter growth. While within the Production scanner segment it was a mixed bag with growth only in High volume scanners in the first quarter.
Distributed Scanner Segment
Within the Distributed Scanner Segment total shipments grew 10.5% in the first quarter of 2021 compared to Q4 2020. All segment within this category grew in the first quarter. The Workgroup scanner segment rebounded the most and grew 19.1% in Q1 2021 from the previous quarter and up 4% from Q1 2020. Epson, Fujitsu and Brother were the top three brands in this segment.
Furthermore, the Departmental scanner segment rose 4.1% from Q4 2020 and was up 4.8% from the same period a year ago. Top models included the Fujitsu fi-7160/fi-7140 and the Avision AN360. The positive shipment growth in both the Workgroup and Departmental scanner segments could be a clear indicator that many companies are reengaged and getting back to the business of work. While within the Personal distributed scanner segment, shipments were relatively flat in the first quarter but up 3.3% from a year ago. Top market share leaders were Epson with 45.4% share, followed by Brother with 26.8% and Fujitsu with 9.9% share.
Meanwhile shipments in the Production scanner segment dropped in the first quarter of 2021 for both the Low and Mid-volume sub-categories while High volume scanner units grew 20.8% from Q4 2020. Kodak Alaris was the market leader in this segment and grew unit shipments 22.9% from the previous quarter followed by IBML up 50% during the same period. Top models included the Kodak Alaris i5850/i5650 and IBML FUSION 7400. The decline in shipments in the LV segment can to some extent, be related to the announcement from Panasonic late last year to close their global document scanner business as the company has historically been consistently in the top 4 in this segment.
The first quarter of 2021 showed a strong rebound in distributed scanners unit sales in North America that indicate a hopeful return to normalcy. While there are still segments that under- performed, overall sales have improved from a year ago at this time. In the U.S., real growth domestic product (GDP) grew 6.4% in the first quarter 2021 and recent economic indicators show continued growth throughout 2021 as companies get back to the business of work.
Barbara Richards, Senior Analyst Hardware Division
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