LASER PRINTERS NOW DOMINATE OVERALL INSTALLED BASE, CI REVEALS
Hewlett Packard Leads In All Market Segments
LA JOLLA, Calif., Aug. 6, 1996 - For the first time, laser printers have
taken the lead in printer usage, accounting for 39 percent of the
installed base, according to a recent study by Computer Intelligence
(CI). Laser printers toppled dot matrix printers as the number-one
installed printer type overall, primarily due to their high-quality
output, fast print speeds and recent affordable price points. In the
workplace, the largest segment of the personal computer market, laser
printers now command an overwhelming lead, with 65 percent of the
The information comes from the 1996 version of CI's Consumer Technology
Index (CTI) , the largest, most comprehensive survey of personal
computer usage in the U.S. CTI surveys three different segments of the
U.S. PC market - the home, the workplace, and the self-employed.
Interestingly, CTI's data demonstrates different printer preferences in
In the home market, ink jet printers hold 43 percent of the installed
base, narrowly edging out dot matrix technology. Dot matrix printers
have a slight lead in the self-employed market, but it's essentially a
three-way tie (see the following table).
Printer Type Share of Installed Base, by Market Segment
Dot Matrix Ink Jet Laser Other
Home 42% 43% 12% 3%
Self-employed 35% 32% 31% 2%
Workplace 17% 16% 65% 2%
Source: CI Consumer Technology Index, 1996
"Given the tremendous advantages of laser printer technology, users are
not willing to tolerate mediocre print quality in the business world,"
stated Ed Pullen, CI's Printer Service Director. "While ink jet printers
provide quality and affordable color printing, the inferior print
quality of dot matrix printers relegates them to the back-office role of
inexpensive printers that accommodate multi-part forms."
As the table below illustrates, Hewlett-Packard is easily the top vendor
in all three market segments, with 39 percent of the overall projected
installed base. The company virtually created the printing revolution by
offering affordable solutions while establishing a new standard for
print quality. Epson and Panasonic are still competitive in the home and
self-employed markets, but no longer have the presence of a
Vendor Market Share by Market Segment
Workplace Home Self-employed
HP 49.1% 28.7% 34.4%
Epson 8.0% 18.7% 15.9%
Panasonic 4.9% 12.9% 12.9%
Canon 2.4% 10.8% 8.2%
Apple 8.9% 9.9% 6.4%
IBM 7.9% 2.8% 3.4%
Other 18.8% 16.2% 18.8%
Source: CI Consumer Technology Index, 1996
CTI's findings also demonstrate varying purchase patterns in the home
and self-employed segments. Almost half of home computer users acquired
their first printer in 1995, while slightly more than one-fifth of home
users bought a replacement printer in 1995. In the self-employed market,
44 percent of users bought their first printer, while one in four users
replaced an existing printer. In both markets, not quite half the users
purchased a printer at the same time as the computer; and, for one in
five users, the price of the printer was bundled in with the computer.
The projected installed base is currently populated by relatively new
printer technology, with two-thirds of the total market having purchased
a printer in the past three years. "However," Pullen notes, "this still
leaves 25 million outdated printers in the installed base. Savvy vendors
who recognize this as a prime source of new customers can tap into this
market with aggressive trade-up programs."
CI substantiates this opportunity in CTI's findings on printer purchase
plans. For the next 12 months, almost one in five home and self-employed
users expects to purchase a color printer (most likely an ink jet).
Laser printers will be the next printer purchase for 10 percent of
households and for 15 percent of the self-employed segment. Fewer than 3
percent of users in either market expect to purchase a dot matrix
printer in the next 12 months.
CTI also details how printers are used. Letter writing (both business
and personal) is still the leading activity, listed by more than 60
percent of printer users. These findings are consistent with CTI's
software data, which indicates that nearly 75 million users have a word
processing package. Almost half of all users generate reports and
proposals with their printers, followed by spreadsheet use.
CI's Consumer Technology Index is the largest, most comprehensive research effort focusing on personal computer usage in
the United States. An initial screening of 50,000 individuals identified PC users in the home, workplace and self-employed
markets. Final survey results are based on a detailed 12-page written questionnaire on the types and brands of equipment
used in the three markets, which was mailed to 17,500 U.S. PC users. The survey also gathers extensive demographic
information from respondents and ascertains their future PC purchase plans.
Computer Intelligence, a Ziff-Davis Publishing Company, is the leading
source of fact-based information for the computer and communications
industries. CI's extensive research capabilities provide a wide variety
of products and services that help computer and communications companies
sell and market more effectively. All of the company's products and
services are based on proprietary information databases built and
maintained by CI specialists. Headquartered in La Jolla, Computer
Intelligence has offices in Cambridge, Mass.; Farmington, Conn.;
Mountain View, Calif.; and Europe. Samples of CI's extensive market data
and research results, timely commentary from industry authorities and
previews of upcoming technology events are available on the company's
site on the World Wide Web, http://www.ci.zd.com.