Mobility Reshapes Hardcopy Market Overseas

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New research from International Data Corp. (IDC), London, highlights how the use of Internet-enabled devices is changing the hardcopy market as we know it and is forcing industry participants to rethink their product offerings.

According to the IDC report – The Real Impact of Internet-Enabled Mobile Devices on the Western European Hardcopy Industry – home and print volumes in Western Europe is expected to see a downward trend of .6% (CARG) from 2011 through 2015 following a flat market in 2010. IDC attributes the decline to the increased popularity of Internet enabled mobile devices (IEMDs) and the changing way users think about documents and access to these digital assets, such as cloud.

The research firm sees an opportunity for print vendors to respond to usage changes by addressing areas such as security, document solutions and managed print services, for example. IDC sees significant opportunities for print in select verticals due to hardcopy compliance and the use of business applications for which paper documents are preferred.

The phenomenal growth in mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets, is driving less of a need for printed documents from both the consumer and business sectors. Mobility in the business sector, in particular, is changing the workflow of content with more users expected to rely on cloud storage and printing on an as needed basis from where ever the user may be located.

Printing in the production printing space is also expected to be impacted by these changes largely driven by ereaders. With ereaders expected to generate a CAGR of 23.7% between 2011 and 2015, demand for ebooks is also expected to swell. The digitization of books is expected to negatively impact the analog printing market, however the demand for short runs will increase favoring digital production printing

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