Mobile printing is still in its infancy but with the continued growth of mobile markets and the introduction of accessible mobile printing features like Apple Air Print, mobile printing is becoming more attractive to both the individual and enterprise consumer.
According to Dinesh Srirangpatna, a Research Manager with IDC’s U.S. Hardcopy Usage program, mobile printing is expected to play a large role in the future of the printing market.
The main catalyst for this projected growth comes from consumer’s growing dependence on mobile devices. Last year was the first year that global smartphone sales exceeded PC sales, with 490 million and 353 million units sold worldwide respectively. This trend is expected to continue, with projections in 2016 forecasting 1 billion worldwide smartphone sales compared to 500 million PC sales.
Logically with mobile sales growing at such an exponential rate, the production of mobile apps has intensified. Apple has already surpassed 25 billion app downloads in four years; while Android averages about 1 billion app downloads a month. Given this continued rate of growth IDC predicts that by the year 2016 there will be 200 billion apps available for download.
Printer technology has always mirrored the existing technology used by both consumers and enterprise. With the use of mainframes there was the line printer, when mainframes were replaced by PCs and notebooks network and MFP printers followed. Thus, as consumers turn to mobile devices it is likely that cloud printing and mobile printing will be used to support those devices.