WEU, EEU INKJET PRINTER MARKETS IN 2021

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Geneva, Switzerland – February 28, 2022

WEU, EEU INKJET PRINTER MARKETS IN 2021 

1.     THE WESTERN EUROPEAN MARKET

1.1. MARKET STATS

The total West European inkjet printer market decreased slightly by 4% to the level of approx. 13 million units in the full-year 2021. One-half of the markets registered decreases and the other half increases, but as the decreases were registered in the largest of markets, they set the downward trend for the whole total market. Decreases were registered in seventeen markets in the region. The total inkjet printer market in FY 2021 was still much larger than the total toner copier/MFP market in WEU, by 10 million units (approx. 13 million inkjet units compared to around 3 million toner copier/MFP units).

The largest French market decreased by 9%, whilst the second-largest market of the United Kingdom went down by 5%, and the third-largest German market declined by 8%. The fourth-largest Italian market actually increased by 5%. The largest increases by the same rate of 12% took place in Austria and Switzerland.

Multifunctional (MF) inkjet printers dropped 5% and accounted for a 94% share of total inkjet sales in FY 2021 (in Eastern Europe, MF registered an 89% share). Single function (SF) inkjet unit sales increased by 10% (slightly up the full-year sales level recorded back in 2016). The home/consumer personal market was down 13%, while the business market was up 37%, registering historically the highest full-year sales level ever. The business market share from the total inkjet market in FY 2021 increased from 19% to 27% (in Eastern Europe, this share was 15%).

The total ink tank market (CISS – Continuous Ink Supply System) continued a strong increase trend with a growth of 24% to about 2.3 million units. This increase was created by the solid growth of the market leader Epson due to the introduction of several new CISS models of the EcoTank and the WorkForce line-up in FY 2021.

In terms of A3 sales, the double-digit upward trend of 22% in this important market (from a revenue point of view) was also reflected across all markets of Western Europe. The largest A3 sales increases have occurred in Italy (37%),  Germany (32%), and France (also up 32%). Within the A3 inkjet market, the CISS share was 17%, with Epson traditionally holding practically the total share of 99.9% with its unit sales increased by 21% in FY 2021. Brother is the only other brand present in this specific market, at second place with an invisible share of 0.1% with placements of new models MFC-T4500 DW and HL-T4000 DW.

            1.2. BRANDS

In terms of brands, there was a change in FY 2021 signalized already in H1 2021, when at the second place Epson surpassed Canon. HP retained its dominant position for total inkjet sales with a flat market share despite a decrease of unit sales by 4% when HP home/consumer personal sales were down by 11%, and business-class inkjet sales doubled by 42%. HP sales of CISS devices (introduced to the market in 2016) went up 11%, although the total CISS sales still represented only 13% of HP total inkjet sales in WEU. HP continued to heavily promote its “Instant Ink” program in several countries of the region when the customers subscribe for a  timely cartridge replacement service when the device runs low on ink (the printer sends ink level information to HP).

In July 2021, HP suddenly informed its WEU distributors and resellers that its inkjet PageWide line-up for A4 and A3 segments would be discontinued. For further information, see below.

Epson total market share increased by 7% in FY 2021, Epson total sales increased by 29% with its home/consumer personal inkjet sales up 21%. Business category sales increased by 37%. As already mentioned above, Epson surpassed Canon to the 2nd overall position. CISS sales were up by 36% to 1.2m units and represented 36% of Epson total inkjet sales. Epson introduced to the market in FY 2021 several new models of the EcoTank line-up.

Canon total market share was down by approx. 7% in FY 2021 with a 28% decrease of total unit sales, home/personal inkjet sales minus 29%, and business category at a flat level of approx. 112k units. Canon sales of CISS devices increased by 24%  and accounted for 8% of Canon total inkjet sales in FY 2021.

Brother total market share remained at the same level as in FY 2020, despite a slight increase of unit sales by 4%. Its home/consumer personal inkjet sales decreased by 46%, while the business segment sales increased surprisingly by 44% in FY 2021, and CISS sales were down by 21%.

          1.3. MODELS

Within the home/consumer personal devices market, HP has filled the top ten position solely with its models,  with the top three places taken by Envy 6010 e-AiO, DeskJet 2710 e-AiO and DeskJet 3720 e-AiO. In the business class category, HP placed 6 models in the top ten, with the top two models and number one best-seller being the OfficeJet Pro 8022 AiO. Epson placed four models within the top ten, with EcoTank ET-M1120 at 3rd position. In the CISS category, again the same scenario as HP placed six models and Epson four models, with the top three being HP´s DeskJet Plus 4110, DeskJet Plus 4120 and Epson´s EcoTank ET-M2110.

2.     THE EASTERN EUROPEAN MARKET

          2.1. MARKET STATS

The total East European inkjet printer market in FY 2021 decreased by 3% to 2.4 million units (the total inkjet printer market was larger than the total toner copier/MFP market approx. by 500k units). For a broader view, the total East European inkjet market represented about 19% of the total Western European inkjet market in unit sales.

Overall the trends were a bit mixed in the East European total inkjet market in FY 2021, as the majority of the markets registered interesting increases, however, the two largest markets of Russia and Poland registered decrease rates, setting with their market shares an overall slightly decreasing trend for the whole total market. The largest market of Russia (27% share, 660k units) decreased by 15% and the second-largest Polish market decreased 6% (25% share, 600k units). The third-largest Czech Republic market was up by 9% (11% share, 268k units), and the Romanian market was up by 65% (8% share, 183k units).

The multifunctional (MF) inkjet printer market decreased by 4% and represented 89% of the total inkjet market (in Western Europe, MF represented 94%), single function (SF) printer sales increased 6% (to almost the same level of sales recorded in FY 2017). The home/consumer personal market in FY 2021 decreased by 8%, while the business market registered a growth of 34%.

The business market share of the total inkjet market in FY 2021 was around 15% (in Western Europe, this share was 27%, as mentioned above). The entire ink tank (CISS) market increased by 12%, while the inkjet A3 market was up 6%. Within the A3 inkjet market, the CISS share was 33%, with Epson present as the only dominant brand of this category (99.8% share, Brother 0.2% share) with a 42% increase of A3 CISS unit sales.

       2.2. BRANDS

In terms of brands in FY 2021, HP managed to comfortably secure its number one position on the total inkjet market, as in previous years. As in WEU, also in EEU Canon was forced to cede its second position to Epson (due to Canon unit sales decreases in the main categories, as mentioned below), which improved its standings from 3rd to 2nd position.

HP registered a 5% sales increase of total sales in FY 2021, its home/consumer personal inkjet sales increased 2%, while its business-class inkjet sales were up by 61% due to increased placements in the Czech Republic. HP’s sales of CISS devices were up by 26% (to 112k units) and represented 23% of HP total inkjet sales in EEU.

As in WEU, also in EEU HP informed its distributors in July 2021 that its inkjet PageWide line-up for A4 and A3 segments will be discontinued.

Canon market share declined by 5% in FY 2021, due to a decrease of unit sales of 18%, as did the home/consumer personal inkjet sales, and also the business-class inkjet sales. Canon sales of CISS devices increased by 16% and accounted for 37% of total Canon inkjet sales in H1 2021.

Epson market share increased by just 1% in FY 2021 despite a flat level of unit sales compared to FY 2020. Its home/consumer personal inkjet sales decreased by 13%, but the business segment sales increased by 32% to approx. 243k units, securing for Epson the No. 1 position in the business inkjet market. Epson CISS sales increased by 2% to 572k units and also secured Epson the No. 1 position in this market. The CISS sales represented a market-leading 93% share of Epson total inkjet sales.

Brother unit sales decreased 4%, with home/consumer personal inkjet sales down 5%, while business inkjet increased 14%. Interestingly, the Brother CISS sales registered an increase of 52% and represented a 91% share of Brother total inkjet sales within EEU.

2.3. MODELS

Within the home/consumer personal devices market, HP managed to place nine of its models within the top ten best-sellers, with the top two places taken by DeskJet 2320AiO and DeskJet 6075 e-AiO. In the business inkjet category, Epson placed seven models in the top ten, with top-six models and number one best-seller EcoTank ET-M2110, followed by EcoTank ET-M1120 and EcoTank ET-M1100. In this category, HP placed three models – OfficeJet 6950 e-AiO at 7th, OfficeJet 8022 AiO at 8th, and OfficeJet Pro 8022 AiO at 9th place. In the CISS category, Epson had six models in the top ten, but the No. 1 best-seller was Canon Pixma G 3411.

3.     HP DISCONTINUED THE PageWide LINE-UP IN FY 2021

At the beginning of July 2021, news about HP retiring the PageWide line-up reverberated through the printing world, considered at first to be just a rumour, but later confirmed as official by several HP spokesmen and managers. HP communicated this news only “internally” to its distributors as an internal issue, and decided to keep the whole situation under low profile in order not to impact their existing customers base and to avoid at all costs negative publicity. The discontinuation concerns solely the A3 and A4 office inkjet market segments as HP will continue investing in its PageWide technology in the large format and industrial print areas and further assures customers that they will continue to sell parts and consumables for five years after the product’s withdrawal to support the installed base of the PageWide A3 and A4 products. The last PageWide A3 and A4 devices will be produced in April of this year. According to one HP statement, all deals and transactional businesses are starting to shift to laser solutions.

HP reasons that the difference between office laser and inkjet technologies has been decreasing in favour of office laser. Therefore HP chose to concentrate on a new generation LaserJet line-up in the office segment, which in our opinion is not reflecting the actual market trends at all.  According to many independent professional comparison studies and tests regarding laser and inkjet office printers, inkjet office printers are far more economical to run and can provide high good printing quality. If the customer does not need very high quality, then the inkjet device´s price/quality ratio is unbeatable.

Since its introduction in 2012, the PageWide line-up has not been an overwhelming success. In the beginning, HP presumed it would create a true revolution in the business (inkjet) segment due to the supposed effectiveness of the new printing technology. While their experience with PageWide devices was positive overall, some customers had issues that may have soured them on the technology. For example, HP specified that PageWide devices should use a particular grade of paper to get the best image quality. Some customers were reluctant to do so, leading to dissatisfaction with the devices. It also appears that HP struggled with a proper understanding of the reseller/indirect A3 channel (as Samsung previously).

Epson and Canon are at present the only major players left within the field of inkjet business technology. Epson is supposed to be the dominant player who will occupy the market share left by HP within the business segment. However, HP will still be present in the office inkjet segment with its OfficeJet line-up. According to our FY 2021 data, HP started to focus more on the office A4 segment, to promote its A4 OfficeJet line-up, especially in Western Europe – models OfficeJet Pro 8022 AiO and OfficeJet 8022  ranked no. 1 and no. 2 bestseller models in FY 2021 in Western Europe.

Regarding the next generation of LaserJet line-up, HP will introduce new products this year in two waves – first in February and second in late August/September.

4.     SUMMARY

The total WEU and EEU inkjet markets in FY 2021 decreased slightly, in WEU re-connecting with the decreasing trends of pre-Covid periods (evidenced since FY 2014), and in EEU disrupting the increasing trend of previous periods. A wide array of negative impacts caused by the Covid pandemic fully reverberated within both WEU and EEU markets in FY 2021, especially in the second half of the year. The main limiting obstacles in the markets were represented by Covid pandemic lockdowns, differences in the timing of Covid recoveries, differences in vaccination rates, factories closures, distribution disruptions, insufficient transport capacities, microchips, semiconductors, and other components shortages, etc. For all markets was characteristical a disparity, reflected by demand on one side and limited supplies on the other side. All these factors had a different impact on individual brands and individual markets, resulting in a distorted picture of the inkjet markets in FY 2021, compared to “normally” functioning markets without such impediments in the previous periods.

Despite the above-mentioned, stable high print quality, lower investment costs, special offerings to customers regarding ink savings, and other special incentives continued to secure the popularity of inkjet printers. These factors are expected to remain important over the years to come. The demand for multifunctional inkjet printers is expected to remain higher than for laser devices in the home/consumer segment, especially in EEU. As for the business segment, the sales of A3 inkjet devices have been disrupted by the Covid pandemic as businesses suffered either lack of financial funds or halted investments, and many projects had to be canceled or postponed. However, in both WEU and EEU the inkjet business segment bounced back in a truly spectacular fashion in FY 2021.

Regarding the future development of the EEU market, many uncertainties lie within the Russian economy, which directly influences large regions and country markets economies connected with oil prices, and exchange rate rifts concerning the Russian rouble. Therefore the Eastern European market as a whole periodically continues to switch between more or less critical economic development due to the state of the Russian economy. Even though in FY 2021 the economy of the world’s largest energy exporter contracted less than many of its peers, with the start of the Ukraine conflict, it is at present hard to predict its full impact on the EEU region in FY 2022. The effects on the individual EEU countries will differ depending on the intensity of their exposure to the Russian market. Oil prices rose on fears that sanctions imposed by Western nations on Russia could hit energy supplies. A crucial factor will be how Russia will continue its broader military confrontation within Ukraine.

Contact

infosource

Petr Kramerius, Regional Manager
[email protected]

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