Tech Industry

HP sees speedy advance in MFP printers

Hewlett-Packard now sits in No. 4 spot among companies shipping countertop laser printers that output 45 to 69 pages per minute.

Hewlett-Packard has in a year gained 11 percentage points to capture 13 percent market share of a key area of multifunction printers and copiers sold to small- and medium-size businesses.

According to IDC's most recent Worldwide Quarterly Hardcopy Peripherals Tracker, HP now sits in the No. 4 spot of those companies shipping countertop laser printers that speed documents between 45 and 69 pages per minute. These are commonly found in many businesses and double as a copier and fax machine.

HP LaserJet 4345 multifunction printer
Credit: Hewlett-Packard
The LaserJet 4345 could help
HP grab more market share.

"It shows that they're keeping up with the times," said IDC analyst Mirette Kouchouk, noting a change in the buying habits of small businesses. "The market is moving toward printer-based MFPs (multifunction printers) over copier-based ones."

The MFP race is tight. Canon leads, with more than 16 percent market share. Xerox and Ricoh are second and third, respectively, with about 15 percent market share each.

When HP entered the multifunction market in 2003, executives predicted the company would capture 10 percent market share by 2006. Last year, HP managed to carve out 2 percent of the pie, according to Kouchouk.

HP's success with multifunction printers and copiers had been limited to devices that feed documents at slower speeds of 31 to 24 pages per minute, Kouchouk said. But the analyst expects more growth from HP now that the company released its HP LaserJet 4345.

HP's ongoing move into copy machines shows promise, but it hasn't been a slam dunk. In addition to churning out new devices, Kouchouk said HP has to continuously tweak its selling strategy and learn to work with office and department managers, as opposed to the IT crowd.