If you look at only colour if you look in the past the majority of the printers in the market are colour, because if you look at inkjet printers there is a big number of inkjet printers in the market. The situation is different for page [laser] printers, because we can say that colour page-printers are a new technology, only a few years old. However the growth rate in western Europe for the year 2004 was 75 per cent for colour page printers, which is about 800,000 units. If you look at the last year, colour page printers started to replace mono page printers and also colour inkjets because in business people think page printers are more reliable than inkjets. Most of the growth is in the low end, four or five ppm colour speed multi-pass devices, very cheap printers, this trend will continue, we think that this technology will have the biggest compound annual growth rate in the printer environment – you have to differentiate printers from MFPs. If we look at the total number of printers in Western Europe a few years ago started to decline and the reason for that is MFPs and in particular inkjets printers, because now people are buying multi-function inkjets.
Most of the copier vendors, because people are printing more than copying because in the past, for example, if people wanted to send a message round the office they would copy it, but now they email it and you print your own copy. Printing is increasing and photocopy vendors need to connect their copiers in order to compete with the printer vendors. And for that they need to connect it to the network and they become MFPs. Printer vendors, in order to compete with copier vendors also need to produce MFPs. The future is not just about printers, or copiers or multi-function, the future is about printing, whether you have a device in which you capture paper where you have printer paper, that’s the important thing. In the office environment you will probably see mono, colour printers and MFPs as well.
It’s very difficult to say who is going to win here, but certainly the one who has all the products, the mono printers, the colour printers and the MFDs will be in the best position.
Last year in western Europe 4.1million units and colour page was 800,000 only – that’s less than 25 %. And if you look at colour page printer technology share last year was only 4.6 per cent. However this technology is going to increase much faster than the other technologies. Monochrome is a mature technology and in the future will probably start to decline or stay flat and the colour page printer will increase a lot. However, it will be two or three years before colour page printers sell more than monochrome. We still think that by the year 2007 monochrome page printers will still sell more than colour.
It’s not just about the product, it’s about the channel as well. Because if you have the channel you can get to the business environment.