Consumer Optimism Drives U.S. Printer Market in 1999, IDC Says

FRAMINGHAM, Mass., January 17, 2000 — Fueled by a red-hot economy, the U.S. printer market rode a wave of euphoric consumer confidence straight through the holiday season. According to yearend research from International Data Corporation (IDC), many vendors in the color inkjet printer segment experienced a record year as a flood of home PCs triggered an avalanche of inkjet printer purchases.

With the smoke clearing, IDC preliminary data indicates U.S. color inkjet sales hit 20 million units — a stunning 32% increase over 1998. Hewlett-Packard was the market share leader in 1999, despite a shortfall in its sub-$100 inkjet offering — Apollo.

"Although Apollo volume fell short of company expectations, HP's second attempt at breaking the sub-$100 inkjet barrier — the DeskJet 610 series — is being well-received and showing real promise," said Weili Su, IDC analyst.

The U.S. desktop color laser market also enjoyed a year of staggering growth as it gained wider acceptance in corporate environments. HP is leading the charge to bring color into the office, and the company now holds 57% unit share of the desktop color laser market. Tektronix also had a good year growing 31% over 1998 to remain the number-two vendor.

In the monochrome laser space, shipments are down slightly from 1998. Y2K-related disruptions and an influx of desktop color laser printers have played a role in restricting growth in this segment, but a rebound is expected in 2000. "With Y2K uncertainty out of the way, we expect a surge in demand for monochrome laser printers as Y2K-phobes begin spending the financial resources they've been hoarding for the past year," Su said.

1999 was a memorable year for the printing industry. HP spun off its Test & Measurement unit in March (now Agilent) to focus on computing and imaging products as well as to become a key Internet player in the 21st century. HP, under new CEO Carly Fiorina, launched a new corporate brand identity in November. Xerox bought Tektronix's printing business in September in an effort to bolster its color laser offerings and take on HP in the battle of office color printing. The desktop color laser market will no doubt be the center of focus in 2000 as vendors introduce new products at competitive price/performance points.

IDC's report, 1999 Preliminary U.S. Printer Market Year in Review (IDC #B21366), is available for purchase by contacting Patrick Steeves at 508-988-6787, or at

About IDC

IDC delivers dependable, relevant, and high-impact data and insight on information technology to help organizations make sound business and technology decisions. IDC forecasts worldwide IT markets and technology trends and analyzes IT products and vendors, using a combination of rigorous primary research and in-depth competitive analysis. IDC is committed to providing global research with local content through more than 500 analysts in 42 countries worldwide. IDC's customers comprise the world's leading IT suppliers, IT organizations, and the financial community. Additional information can be found at

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