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 user 2005-03-03 at 10:14:00 am Views: 58
  • #10636
    Japan printer market
    down 1.1 pct in 2004

    TOKYO, March 05 – Japan’s printer market shrank last year
    and is unlikely to rebound strongly in 2005 as demand for ink jet models
    stagnates and corporations use copiers to satisfy their printing needs, a
    research firm said on Wednesday.

    Japan said sales of printers, including ink jet and
    business-use models, dropped 1.1 percent from a year earlier to 7.816 million
    units in 2004, while sales in value terms fell 1.5 percent to 355.3 billion yen
    ($3.4 billion).

    Driving the
    Japanese market’s decline was a 2.4 percent drop in unit sales of ink jet
    printers, which are typically used by consumers to print maps and other
    documents from their PC and account for over 80 percent of all printers sold in

    Laser and light-emitting
    diode (LED) printers,which tend to be used in offices, make up nearly all of
    the remaining printers.

    Inc. outmanoeuvred Seiko Epson Corp. to secure 44 percent of the domestic ink
    jet market in 2004, grabbing the top spot from its rival for the first time in
    eight years. Seiko Epson held 41 percent of the market in unit terms.

    Japan analyst Tomoko Mitani attributed Canon’s success to its aggressive
    promotion of a new line of printers that are black and box-shaped, giving them a
    sleek appearance compared with conventional printer designs.

    She said
    competition was set to get tougher and predicted the ink jet market would be
    about flat in 2005.

    are people making purchases (of ink jet models) for the first time but much of
    the market comes from replacement demand,” Mitani said. “The market has pretty
    much matured and we are unlikely to see significant growth from here.”

    added that competitors such as Hewlett-Packard , Lexmark International
    and Dell Inc. would struggle to break Canon’s and Seiko Epson’s
    virtual duopoly given their strong brands and sales channels in Japan.

    Among ink
    jet printers, sales of single-function models fell 17.8 percent last year to
    4.29 million units as consumers continued to opt for multi-function models,
    which can do other things besides printing such as copying and scanning.

    Sales of
    multi-function printers, on the other hand, jumped 54.6 percent to 2.18 million
    units last year, accounting for 34 percent of the ink jet total, up from 21
    percent in 2003.

    Sales of
    laser and LED printers rose 0.1 percent to 1.064 million, with a 24 percent jump
    in sales of colour models offsetting a 5.3 percent decline in black-and-white

    said falling prices of colour laser printers were boosting demand but warned
    that rising sales of multi-function digital copiers that can also print would
    likely dent demand for business-use printers in 2005 in