IDC Hardcopy Usage Data Finds Declining Average Monthly Page Volume in 2009; Results Instructive for 2010

FRAMINGHAM, MA. – April 27, 2010 – The great recession of 2009 has ended, but not before leaving its mark on the hardcopy industry. The International Data Corporation's (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Hardcopy Peripherals Tracker reported a decline in hardware unit shipments for 2009, and IDC's Hardcopy Usage Panel reported average monthly page volume (AMV) declines that continued into the second half of 2009. The severity of the declines for AMVs in 2009 surprised many vendors, reaching double digits for most segments. The degree and severity of the page volume drop are instructive for 2010.

"The speed segment analysis of printers, MFPs, and single function digital copiers provides a unique perspective for understanding page output," said Jake G. Wang, program manager, Hardcopy Usage.

AMV trends among laser multifunction printers (MFPs) and printers by segment include the following:

* With very few exceptions, AMVs declined from 2008 to 2009, ranging from -4 to -79%. The few exceptions grew between 1% and 11%

* Among segments 1-4, the best performing device types in terms of year-over-year AMV changes speak to the attractiveness of Mono Laser MFPs over Mono Laser Printers, and Color Laser Printers over Color Laser MFPs

* Among segments 1-4, while we cannot always say A3 MFPs did better than A4 MFPs, we can say that:

* A3 Mono MFP year-over-year changes were generally slightly better than A4 Mono MFP changes

* A3 Color MFP year-over-year changes were significantly better than A4 Color MFP changes

* A4 Color MFPs had the worst and most dramatic year-over-year declines among all device types

* No clear patterns were found among printers (color, mono, A3, A4), although:

* A3 and A4 Color Laser Printers in one segment had two of the three best year-over-year AMV changes; the third best performer was A3 Mono Laser MFPs in Segment 5

"The data supports changes in usage due to strategies such as device consolidation and the shift of page output to higher speed devices, which has become common even during the recessionary period," added Wang. "Going forward, it will be important to understand how much AMVs will recover with the economy and where the declines will be permanent. Long-term growth for pages and hardware shipments requires not only improvements in the general economy, but the ability of vendors to create new opportunities for digital printing, such as offset to digital migration for applications like books, packaging, and direct mail, as well as other applications for households and office environments, including social networks, smartphones, cloud-based enterprise applications, and document hosting.

The IDC study, United States Hardcopy Usage Program: Final 2009 Analysis (IDC #223095), is dedicated to understanding what is happening in page volume dynamics. This study looks at year-over-year trends from 2006 through 2009 and examines how differing device types, technology, speed bands, and format sizes affect page output. The study also looks at macroeconomic factors and the current state of the U.S. economy.

To purchase this IDC special study, please contact IDC Sales at 508-988-7988 or sales@idc.com.

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