Western European HCP Market Increased for the First Time in Over 3 Years
The Western European printer and multifunction (MFP) market unsurprisingly increased by 12.9% in unit terms in 3Q20 compared with the same period a year ago, according to IDC. The market grew to a size of 5.19 million units, but market values in euros contracted by 9.6%.
The growth was driven by the demand for low-end cost-effective inkjet and monochrome laser devices for home working and home education even as lockdowns were relaxed in certain industries but most still had the majority of their workforces working from home or in satellite offices. Tens of millions of workers are still working from home as opposed to the office going into 4Q20, and even though schools and universities opened up towards the end of 3Q20 the current crisis means the need for home printing and scanning will continue throughout 2020 and into 2021.
Some suppliers struggled to meet demand for hardware and supplies while others saw considerable success as channel partners bulk purchased to satisfy end-user demand from individuals and enterprises. Demand for higher speed A4 and A3 devices was mixed at the start of 3Q20 as lockdowns were still in effect and the return to work varied considerably across countries.
This simply meant that as offices and other sites could not be opened to the general workforce it became difficult to complete installations. This scenario began to change towards the end of 3Q20 as more workspaces opened and some of the major suppliers took advantage and began to fulfill their renewals and contracts. Others continued to suffer as their portfolios didn't match the working from home scenario or did not have the channels to service demand.
"Demand for low-end devices seen in 2Q20 continued even stronger into 3Q20," said Phil Sargeant, program director in IDC's Western European Imaging, Hardware Devices, and Document Solutions group. "The need for home working and home education is very much in evidence and devices being purchased for home usage are likely to remain there as many businesses are now implementing practices for allowing more workers to work from home either partially or permanently."