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Survey Says: Digital Copiers, Printers Stealing Toner-Based Press Applications

Press release from the issuing company

NEW YORK - March 15, 2006 - TrendWatch Graphic Arts has released the industry's first report on digital color copiers, black-and-white printers, and even desktop printers as competitors to toner-based digital presses for key digital printing applications, including short run digital and variable data print (VDP). "Copiers & Printers: Serious Competitors in the Digital Print Marketplace" is a 119-page report that takes a comprehensive look at the expanding use of these devices in the commercial print production environment. The report analyzes the use of digital copiers and desktop printers in the larger short-run color and VDP production environments and the growing acceptance of these devices, not just among small firms, but among mid-sized firms and established digital printers. Data includes how volumes of high-speed black-and-white printing, color copying, and digital color printing are increasing or decreasing. "Copiers and Digital Printers" also takes a look at the issue of variable data printing specifically and the rapidly growing adoption of digital color copiers and desktop color printers for this purpose. Detailed survey data is bolstered with interviews with printers around the United States who are being highly successful using this equipment to service this market. Survey data include both top-line numbers, and breakdowns by graphic arts segment (commercial printers, trade shops, quick printers, and digital printers), as well as by employee size category. Key conclusions from the report... Digital color copiers and desktop color printers are no longer "second class" options for outputting key digital printing applications. In many cases, they are printers' first option and preferred long-term solution. In fact, the data show that respondents to TrendWatch GA's Printing #22 survey were more likely to cite "short-run color with color copiers" than "short-run color with digital presses." Printers may complain about "copier quality" in public, but in private, they know that it is salable copy - and that's what matters. Printers have always used digital copiers and desktop devices for commercial print production, but that use is becoming more sophisticated. These devices are being used to churn out very sophisticated applications, including variable data print. The data from several business classes indicate that there may be excellent opportunities for manufacturers of digital copiers to make a serious marketing push in these markets. "All of this data begs the question: If digital printers aren't afraid of using copiers and laser printers to output short-run digital print and VDP jobs, why should the rest of us be so snobbish about it?" says Heidi Tolliver-Nigro, author of the report. "This goes back to the superiority of business model over output technology. Printers with the right business models and selling practices (i.e. business development) should be able to sell VDP output on any technology, including a laser printer. And, apparently, they are." News Highlights... -- 37% of digital printers see "short-run color with color copiers" as a top sales opportunity for their businesses - up from 28% of graphic arts firms overall; -- Since Q2 2000, the rate of growth for "short-run with color copiers" as a sales opportunity has been greater than that for digital color presses. "Short-run color with digital presses" experienced 190% growth between Q3 2001 - Q4 2005, while "short-run with color copiers" grew at 230%; -- Nearly one in 10 large shops (20-49 employees) sees "VDP with color copiers" as a top sales opportunity for their businesses; -- 25% of graphic arts firms currently say that their primary VDP output device is a color copier. -- The percent of digital printers who are relying on desktop inkjet/laser printers as their primary VDP output device more than tripled over six months, from 3% to 10%; Availability... TrendWatch Graphic Arts Special Report "Copiers & Printers: Serious Competitors in the Digital Print Marketplace" is available for purchase by visiting the secure TrendWatch Graphic Arts eStore online at www.trendwatchgraphicarts.com/special or by phone at 866-873-6310. The price for the 119-page report is $995. TrendWatch Graphic Arts eStore customers can download this report in PDF Acrobat format immediately after purchase. Editor's Note... Additional information pertaining to each report is available for editorial purposes. Please make inquiries directly to Judie Ryer (646) 746-7234 or [email protected]).