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Slowdown Blues: Computer peripheral shipments slip as downturn bites

Goutam Das     August 22, 2019

The slump in consumption has resulted in falling sales of cars, two-wheelers, television and household items. Now, computer peripherals appear to be impacted as well. Latest numbers from International Data Corporation (IDC), a market intelligence firm, suggest that both consumer and commercial demand for stuff such as printers have been slipping.

IDC stated that the India HCP market (Hardcopy Peripherals) fell 4.2 per cent to 0.84 million units in the June quarter of 2019 versus the year-ago period. On a quarterly basis, shipments slipped 0.9 per cent. A decline in the shipment of laser printers and serial dot matrix printers brought the overall market down, the company noted.

"Despite the continued slowdown in overall demand, Inkjet printer segment grew year-on-year by 2.8 per cent as a result of channel stocking by most of the vendors. The growth was driven by Ink tank printers which recorded year-on-year growth of 4.1 per cent. While the overall laser printer market declined year-on-year by 12.8 per cent, the copier segment grew by 27.1 per cent year-on-year," IDC stated.

The research firm pointed out that HP Inc. maintained its leadership in HCP with a market share of 43 per cent while its shipment grew by 2.1 per cent year-on-year. The growth was primarily led by the inkjet segment, which grew by 11.4 per cent as a result of lucrative channel schemes. In copiers, HP's aggressive channel push contributed to growth in shipments. Epson was at the second position in the overall HCP market while Canon followed in the pecking order.

Bani Johri, Market Analyst at IDC India, noted that the decline is primarily due to the slowdown in consumption faced by vendors owing to challenging economic conditions. "SMBs and SOHOs too were restricted in their growth by tighter loan approval processes from banks leading to liquidity issues. Demand from government saw an increase towards the end of the quarter owing to the previous government again winning with absolute majority and executing its previous orders," the analyst said.

The market outlook isn't very encouraging either. "Market conditions are expected to remain challenging in 2019Q3 (September quarter) from a year-on-year perspective as the economic slowdown will impact both consumer and commercial demand. The consumer market is expected to get some boost in the upcoming festive season. Attractive EMI schemes and offers such as instant cashback will likely drive growth in consumer demand," Nishant Bansal, Senior Research Manager at IDC India noted. 

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