Gartner claims managed print services (MPS) could hold the key to growth in the beleaguered printer market as unit sales continue to plummet.
According to the analyst, combined printer, copier and multifunctional product (MFP) shipments fell 8.4 per cent in EMEA in 2008.
HP retained its overall lead despite seeing unit sales drop 11 per cent last year. Of the main contenders Samsung posted the highest shipment growth at 16.3 per cent, while Lexmark experienced the greatest unit losses due to its shift in focus to the high-end workgroup market.
Gartner said the fourth quarter had created a challenging selling environment for printer suppliers as firms delayed product upgrades and cancelled investment in new office devices.
But Tosh Prabhakar, senior research analyst at Gartner, claimed that freezing investment is not necessarily the best way for end users to cut costs.
“Businesses are holding back on investment of new office equipment,” he said.
“However, these businesses should instead consider adopting strategic and deployment alternatives such as MPS, smart MFP and fleet document management systems to help better control costs and better manage their office devices with cost optimisation in mind.”
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