Demand for Digital Images Push Worldwide Scanner Shipments Past 24 Million in 2000, IDC Says Flatbeds Still Dominate

FRAMINGHAM, MA – May 30, 2000 – Driven by the Internet and increased demand for digital imaging, the worldwide scanner market has taken off with unit shipments climbing to 24.3 million in 2000. That figure is expected to balloon to 47.7 million by 2004. According to new research from IDC, declining price points — which dipped below $192 ($U.S.) worldwide in 1999 — are making scanners accessible to a wide range of users. Scanners are moving beyond the corporate desktop and being implemented for a wide range of consumer applications.

Flatbed scanners continued to dominate the market, accounting for 97% of worldwide shipments in 1999. Flatbeds experienced a very healthy 1999 with 38% shipment growth over 1998. "Simplified applications, falling prices, and the wild spread of email use has kept the flatbed scanner on top," said Ron Glaz, manager of IDC's scanners program. "Additionally, the introduction of USB interfaces has averted another obstacle by addressing the need for speed." Overall, worldwide flatbed shipments will remain strong, reaching 23.6 million this year.

The fastest-growing segment of the scanner market is a new breed of handhelds. These devices, known as pen scanners or digital highlighters, have evolved from a tethered peripheral connected to a PC to a standalone information appliance. Pen scanners are independent, text-capturing devices that can grab specific text on a page quickly and easily, giving the user instant gratification. Overall, the worldwide handheld scanner market will grow 616% from 1999 to 2000 on shipments of 269,000 units.

Key Findings (Worldwide)

· The value of scanner shipments grew 27% year over year to reach $4 billion in 1999.

· Average sales prices for 35mm scanners will drop to $721 by 2004.

· High-speed scanners are forecast to have a double-digit growth rate, with a 1999–2004 compound annual growth rate of 28.5%.

· The value of shipments for batch processing scanners reached $128 million in 1999.

IDC's report Worldwide Scanner Market Forecast and Analysis (IDC #B22198) provides a high-level view of worldwide scanners and addresses seven technologies: flatbed, sheetfed, handheld, 35mm, high speed, batch flatbed, and network scanners. It contains 1997 through 1999 actual unit shipments and values of shipments in street dollars as well as the 2000–2004 forecast for the United States, Western Europe, Asia/Pacific, and the rest of world region.

For more information or to order a copy of this report, please contact Patrick Steeves at 508-988-6787 or

About IDC

IDC delivers dependable, high-impact insights and advice on the future of ebusiness, the Internet, and technology to help organizations make sound business decisions. IDC forecasts worldwide markets and trends and analyzes business strategies, technologies, and vendors, using a combination of rigorous primary research and in-depth competitive analysis. IDC provides global research with local content through more than 500 analysts in 43 countries worldwide. IDC's customers comprise the world's leading IT suppliers, IT organizations, ebusiness companies, and the financial community. Additional information can be found at

IDC is a division of IDG, the world's leading IT media, research and exposition company.

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