Print server market hits two-year low

Unit shipment numbers in the Australian print server market have declined by 11.5 percent year-on-year for the last half of 2003, according to an International Data Corporation report.

Unit shipment numbers in the Australian print server market have declined by 11.5 percent year-on-year for the last half of 2003, according to an International Data Corporation report.

The main contributor to the decline are internal Ethernet print servers, unit shipments of which contracted 96.3 percent from the same period last year. Internal Fast Ethernet/Gigabit Ethernet print server unit shipments grew, but only by 4.6 percent off a large installed base.

HP still held the number one position with a 37.1 percent market share. Kyocera, with a 14.7 percent share jumped into second position, an increase of over one point from the first half of 2003. In third position was Lexmark with a 9.8 percent share of the local market. The top 5 were Canon and NetGear with 5.5 percent and 5.3 percent share respectively.

"Vendors such as HP and Lexmark have historically performed better in the local print server market as they are able to offer both external print servers and devices that are network ready. While the internal market continues to grow, there are areas of opportunity for external devices, especially in the SME segment," said IDC hardware analyst Michael Sager.

Sager predicts "The market should continue to remain buoyant as the printing devices continue to become more networked in the future. IDC also expects to see an increase in wireless print servers over time as the technology becomes cheaper and more available to the market."