*NEWS*HOME PHOTO PRINTING BOOM EXPECTED

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*NEWS*HOME PHOTO PRINTING BOOM EXPECTED

 user 2005-12-26 at 9:42:00 am Views: 61
  • #13767

    Home photo printing boom expected
    Digital prints and lower ink costs will help drive sales of inkjet printers
    Inkjet
    printer makers will continue to benefit from rising ink sales as demand
    for photo-quality prints increases along with digital camera sales,
    Nomura Securities predicts.
    “We think the market has strong growth
    potential. We look for home photo processing to spread in line with
    improvements in the quality and durability of photos printed with
    inkjet printers and decreases in printing costs,” said Nomura analyst,
    Tetsuya Wadaki. Nomura is Japan’s largest brokerage.
    Digital cameras
    are giving increasing numbers of people the chance to print out their
    own snaps at home. About 76 million digital cameras will be sold
    globally in 2005, and consumers will take home a further 85.5 million
    in 2006, predicts Taiwan’s Market Intelligence Center, a technology
    research organisation.
    Inkjet printers and multi-function inkjet
    printers increased their share of the global printer market from 75 per
    cent in 2003 to approximately 84 per cent last year, according to
    US-based Lyra Research.
    “To date, home photo printing has not spread
    as rapidly as the use of digital cameras due to the lack of substantial
    price benefits versus photo labs and concerns about quality,” Wadaki
    said.
    But as media costs fall and consumers become more familiar
    with the technology, these concerns are expected to fade. Wadaki added
    that convenience and privacy will also help sell consumers on home
    photo printing.|
    “Photo printing uses almost exclusively high-margin
    ink made by the printer maker, and the consumption volume of high
    priced colour ink increases with the number of photos printed. As such,
    the spread of the home photo printing market should improve
    profitability at inkjet printer makers,” Wadaki predicted.
    Nomura
    names Canon and Seiko Epson, two of the world’s top four printer
    vendors, among Japanese companies expected to see record printing
    division profits from the predicted boom in home photo printing. The
    other major inkjet sellers, US-based market leader Hewlett-Packard and
    Lexmark, are also likely to benefit.
    However, the companies will
    face some competition from cut-price third-party ink cartridge makers,
    despite the fact that unofficial ink supplies are sometimes criticised
    for quality and durability issues. This could exert further downwards
    pressure on ink prices.
    Only a little over 60 per cent of Epson and
    Canon printer cartridges sold in 2005 were actually made by the two
    companies, Lyra estimates. The rest were mainly third-party copies sold
    more cheaply than the ‘genuine’ cartridges.
    Other manufacturers like
    HP, which integrate the print head into the cartridge, are able to keep
    their cartridge market share over 70 per cent because legal and
    technical restrictions make copying more difficult.
    Although the ink
    cartridge market will expand from approximately 1.15 billion units in
    2004 to 1.98 billion in 2009, the printer vendors’ share of the market
    will actually shrink from 68.2 per cent to 61 per cent in the face of
    increased competition from third party manufacturers, Lyra forecasts.