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Consumers Keep Printers Afloat Through COVID

Despite a drop in demand from corporates, consumers working from home helped prop up the Australian market for printers during the pandemic.

A total of 810,000 units of hardcopy peripherals were shipped in the first half of 2020, a drop of 3.7 per cent over the same period last year, according to the latest IDC Asia-Pacific Quarterly Hardcopy Peripherals Tracker report.

Jimmy Li, Market Analyst at IDC, said that though sales of laser single-function devices plummeted 20 per cent year-on-year, home users helped buoy inkjet and laser multifunction sales to an almost flat year-on-year performance.

“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,” he said.

Panic buying around the start of the pandemic in March and April fuelled a spike in demand for inkjet devices between $100-300, with stock and logistics issues hitting supply of both inkjet and laser models.

Li added that the business world is moving towards the “next normal” – a comprehensive hybrid working model that may rely less on print – but despite this, there are still opportunities thanks to day-to-day location-independent processes.

“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,” he said.

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