Single function lasers take off

Recent price cuts by printer vendors have sparked an increase in sales of single function mono laser printers in Q1, according to the latest figures from IDC.

Mono laser model price tags fell by an average rate of 14 per cent compared to Q4 last year, while single function colour laser prices dwindled by another 13 per cent, hardcopy peripherals analyst, Rishi Ghai, said. This resulted in laser printer sales reaching their highest quarter level ever, exceeding 90,000 units in Q1.

Despite falling prices, vendors experienced about 10 per cent sequential growth in terms of revenue, he said.

"Q4 last year was when the discounting activity actually started and we saw Lexmark and Brother really trigger the dropping prices," Ghai said. "Lexmark had one mono single laser function printer that was selling for a little less than $150 and Brother also had a similar model around that range."

HP set the pace in Q1 with similar models priced around $200. Ghai said Kyocera Mita, Brother and Samsung had all performed well in the single mono laser printer segment. However, former Q4 second place holder Lexmark, slipped to fifth. Ghai said vendors were mainly targeting these models towards the SOHO market. "Given the general price-sensitivity associated with this market, such offerings induce users to migrate from inkjets to closely-priced laser devices," he said.

Ghai said he expected this trend would continue into the short to medium term.

IDC Top 5 Single Function Laser Printer Vendors, Q1 2006:

1. HP: 44.7 per cent
2. Kyocera Mita: 14.3 per cent
3. Brother: 9.8 per cent
4. Samsung: 8.5 per cent
5. Lexmark: 7.0 per cent
6. Others: 15.7 per cent

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