In terms of the colour market in general we are seeing the market growing at a tremendous rate in terms of units, that’s primarily being fuelled by the fact that the price point of colour lasers has come down significantly over the past twelve months. So what we’re finding is that SMB customers are finding that the acquisition costs of buying a colour laser are much less than they were previously so we’re seeing the demand for the devices increase significantly.
The thing with cost per page is that it’s a really subjective measure because everybody measures it in different ways, so its very difficult for customers to get an accurate picture of what cost per pages. And also often it depends on what you’re actually printing. A typical office memo is about 5 per cent coverage, which is what most manufacturers tend to base it on. But if you’re printing out presentations or data sheets for example the coverage is going to be different. So what we offer our customers is if they want to send us a copy of a document that they’re likely to be printing on a regular basis we will actually print that out for them on a measured cost per page. We can actually do that on a case by case basis.
Starting to offer cost per click contracts, leasing, financing, etc…
Balanced deployment – less is more… Using printers in a more efficient way.
It’s not a case of do we sell them a colour or a mono printer, it’s a case of what are you looking to print? And once we find out what level they’re looking to print at we can recommend a solution for the customer so it becomes much more bespoke rather than you should buy this printer or that printer.
Mono is still dominant in the office, there is still a requirement for mono. However, we are seeing migration to colour and MFDs accelerating as price points come down.
We as a manufacturer are still investing in mono, in fact we’ve just refreshed the entire range and HP is the only manufacturer that offers a complete portfolio of products from personal mono laser right up to departmental mono printers, and all those products are new.
The market is declining in the mid to high end, you’re looking at a decline of maybe 10 to 15 percent [over the last quarter] so it is starting to gain pace. We did enjoy during the previous 18 months a small growth in mono but now we are seeing the decline accelerate. However, it’s still important, it is still dominant and still accounts for a large part of the business and we’re obviously committed to keeping our products technology leaders.
Key technology – fast first page out, ceramic heating element for toner fusing. Important for low speed machines, not used as frequently, printing smaller documents. Quick warm up from power-save mode or cold.
The low end personal end of the market, if we look back two years ago we were seeing 50 per cent growth year on year, we were seeing phenomenal growth. That slowed down last year to about 20-30 per cent and this year we’re probably looking at 10-15 per cent, so it’s still a growth market. The areas where we’re seeing growth in that market is in the home market and sales through retail. Context quoted that comparing the first half of 04 to the previous year the laser printer sales through retail channels grew by 55 per cent so year on year we are seeing phenomenal growth of consumers purchasing these personal lasers. It’s absolutely linked to the increasing number of people who work from home, the acceptance of technology in the home and I think what we’re starting to see is this growth of two printer families.
Inkjets too expensive for home business use.
A personal laser at 49 or 99 pounds certainly becomes a different proposition for privileged individuals such as executives or managers who want the convenience or confidentiality of having a printer on their own desktop and not having to share departmental printers.
There is a need to replace photocopiers and faxes with MFPS, but there will also be a need to still have departmental printers. In a balanced deployment an MFP is not always needed in every area, sometimes a mono printer is sufficient, you don’t want to spend too much money on MFPs where they’re not actually needed or appropriate.
Everybody has been wanting some kind of standard on toner yield for a long time, all our new products now use that particular standard and it gives customers a better understanding of what the true yield of a cartridge is. All of our cartridges met the standard anyway.