But home office devices defy trends.
Analyst firm IDC has reported a 3.7 percent year-on-year shrink in the Australian hardcopy peripherals market for the first half of 2020, which it puts down to weaker demand from corporates during COVID-19 lockdowns.
While the shipments recorded (809,000 units) in the first half of the 2020 financial year represented a reduction of the overall market, the analyst’s breakdown of the product categories showed growth from home users.
In the laser single-function market, shipments were down 20 percent year on year, but both inkjet and laser multifunction devices reported flat YOY performance, which, set against the backdrop of a declining trend in previous years, suggested a shift in buyer behaviour, according to IDC market analyst Jimmy Li.
“Consumer-targeted products increased in sales because of remote working and distance learning, predominantly through large local retailers whose stores remained open during the restrictions,” Li said.
IDC reported that inkjet models with a US$100-$300 price band spiked in demand for home offices thanks to panic buying in March-April. Key laser vendors reduced the shipment volume of low-end laser devices with a print speed of less than 20ppm. IDC said both inkjet and laser markets suffered from stock and logistics issues when the COVID-19 outbreak hit the APAC region.
“The business world is heading towards ‘the next normal’, a comprehensive hybrid working model with possible lower reliance on print,” IDC’s Li said.
“However, the requirement of day-to-day location independent processes also brings opportunities to the market. Vendors and channels can no longer rely on hardware and consumable sales alone, but need to focus on and expand their offerings into cloud services, security control, and solution-based approach across offices and home locations.”