Published in Imaging Spectrum issue October 2008
With monochrome printing dominating the market despite many industry forecasts, Lyra’s Analyst Panel shed some light on an aftermarket opportunity in color printing and the stability in printing in general.
The power panel, which was comprised of Ann Priede, moderator and managing editor of The Hard Copy Observer; Charlie Brewer, managing editor of Hard Copy Supplies Journal; and Lyra industry analysts Andy Lippman and Cortney Kasuba discussed changes that have to take place before color printing dominates monochrome printing.
Because monochrome printing does the job and it’s inexpensive, there has to be an incentive for people to want to switch to color printing. Kasuba said three changes need to be made before color printing will grow.
First, color cost-per-page has to be the same as monochrome, which could be an opportunity for the aftermarket. Second, color devices need to dominate over monochrome devices in the office place, and third, there needs to be some education about these color devices. “People need to know that it’s not going to cost them an arm and leg to print (color) pages,” Kasuba said.
According to Priede, a large amount of monochrome printers being replaced by color devices or MFPs; however, people are still printing black and white pages on color printers. “So, we’re getting the install base,” Priede said. “But we aren’t getting the color page volume yet.”
The Printing Decline
There have been many speculations as to why the printing volume has declined, but the most prominent assumption has been because of the economy. However, the panelists offered other reasons why printing is not as prevalent right now.
The rise in mobile technology, such as laptops, could account for some of the reason people are not printing as much, Lippman said. People are not sitting right next to printers in many cases anymore, so printing is not an option.
Although there is fear that people are not printing as much as they used to, Kasuba assured the audience that the volume of printing is stable right now. “We’ll see more (printing) in certain segments and less in others,” Brewer added. “But overall printing is staying steady.”