Press Release Summary = Photocopiers & Fax Machines - Market Report estimates that the UK market for photocopiers and fax machines, including multi-functional products (MFPs) with copying and/or fax functions, was worth £805m at manufacturers\' selling prices (msp) in 2004. This represents an increase of 1.9% on its value in 2003.
Photocopiers & Fax Machines - Market Report estimates that the UK market for photocopiers and fax machines, including multi-functional products (MFPs) with copying and/or fax functions, was worth £805m at manufacturers\' selling prices (msp) in 2004. This represents an increase of 1.9% on its value in 2003. The market is segmented into three main sectors: copiers and office MFPs; fax machines and MFPs with fax; and other MFPs for the SoHo (small office/home office) or personal markets. Strong volume growth in the market is due to the boom in this latter sector, where low-cost MFPs have eroded sales of standalone printers. The top selling point in the office sector in 2004 and 2005 has been affordable colour. Colour machines showed strong growth in 2004 and hold great promise for the future. Virtually all the new colour machines on the market now offer black and white alongside colour, so that customers no longer have to justify the cost of two machines. It is this development that has given the most impetus to the market. The cost of colour machines has continued to fall, while speeds have improved. Some manufacturers divide their ranges into \'colour-capable\' models, aimed at customers whose main need is for low-cost monochrome, and \'colour-centric\' models, aimed at customers for whom high-quality colour is of prime importance.
Other trends in office machines include the growth of connectivity and networking, the shift from single-function copiers to MFPs and the move to higher speeds. These trends are accompanied by a reduction in the use of local, standalone, low-volume printers, making the overall office imaging process more economical and efficient for the user.
The generalised use of e-mail reduced the volume of fax traffic between 2000 and 2004. However, many businesses, large and small, still require a fax facility and fax continues to offer some advantages. Sales of fax machines to the home sector remain surprisingly strong, although the long-term trend for fax is one of gradual decline. Desktop all-in-one (AIO) machines are gaining market share from single-function fax devices.
Demand for MFPs for personal use and the SoHo market showed strong growth in 2003 and 2004, influenced by several favourable trends. The demand for colour printing from home PCs has been increasing and entry-level MFPs have begun to take share from standalone printers. The popularity of digital photography has caused a boom in photo-quality printers, and low-cost photo-quality MFPs have been gaining share in 2004 and 2005. Consumer spending and confidence have been generally high, although consumers started to show more caution with their spending in the second half of 2004. Growth in teleworking has continued to expand the SoHo sector.
Although the office market is mature, there remain opportunities for growth, notably from technological improvements that persuade customers to upgrade to more versatile, higher-performance and more highly featured machines. These allow customers to bring in-house jobs that were previously outsourced to commercial printers. The next few years will see continued growth in office colour and strong growth in laser desktop multi-functional products, with colour eventually becoming more widely affordable in this sector.