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Home photo printer market booming
Mark Peters : May 10th 2005 - 07:30 CET
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InfoTrendsHome photo printer market booming : A 39% surge in photo printer shipments in 2004 drove an 8% increase in the overall home printer market, according to a new report from InfoTrends/CAP Ventures. Additionally, the photo printer category as a whole hit $1.5 billion in 2004, experiencing a 33% revenue growth over 2003. "The digital camera revolution has ignited demand for better home photo printing solutions," said Ed Lee, director of the Photo Printing Trends service at InfoTrends/CAP Ventures. "Vendors have seized on the opportunity by rolling out a succession of new photo printing features, spawning upgrades that are meeting consumer needs and invigorating the stagnant printer market."
Home photo printer market boomingHome photo printer - New features
The new photo features are injecting excitement back into the space, with innovations such as ink/paper bundles that guarantee a fixed price per print. There are also new ways to simplify getting pictures out of the camera and into the printer: camera docks, USB-direct-to-camera, card slots, and wireless. New printheads, new ink formulations, and new photo papers have led to vast improvements in speed, quality, and print durability.

Home photo printer - Gain market share
"Home printer vendors are in a battle for the print market, and they don't intend to lose," said Lee. "Watch for them to keep up the pressure with continued improvements throughout 2005, to neutralize the advantages of retail printing. To further sweeten the pot, vendors are lowering the cost of prints, so prices are now competitive with retail and online printing."

Home photo printer - Snapshot printers
The snapshot printer market is the surprise success story of 2004, up 170% from 2003 to reach 2.2 million units. These dedicated photo printers are designed to do one thing extremely well: print snapshots. Although they make up less than 5% of the total home printer market, they are ideal for photo-intensive users who spend a lot more on print consumables than the average user. Hence many players like Canon, Dell, Epson, Kodak, Lexmark and Sony are now jumping into this space or intensifying efforts, after allowing Hewlett-Packard's inkjet models to dominate the space early on.

Home photo printer - InfoTrends/CAP Ventures study
InfoTrends/CAP Ventures' report entitled U.S. Photo Printer Market Forecast: 2004-2009 is available immediately. The study provides a five-year forecast for the U.S. photo printer market broken down into three segments: general purpose, photo-centric, and snapshot, and further segments them by inkjet vs. dye sub. It includes analysis of the key market drivers, barriers, ongoing market issues, printer design, and technology trends. Projections are provided in terms of units, installed base, average selling price, and revenue. The study profiles key market players.

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