Mobile Devices: Friend or Foe of the Printing Industry?

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Photizo Group report examines impact of personal computing trends on page volumes

A newly published report from Photizo Group, The Future of Printing as Personal Computing Evolves, evaluates how new developments in computing technology will affect the future of printing and the hard copy industry.

The report notes that mobile printing, as one of the few growth markets in the printer industry at the moment, shows great promise but is no panacea for the industry’s challenges: it is unlikely that mobile print volumes will be able to completely replace diminishing desktop print volumes. But the sooner the industry and mobile device vendors can simplify and universalize print functionality on smartphones and tablets, the faster mobile printing will grow, and the more slowly will users find non-print alternatives for viewing and sharing documents.

Over the long run, the shift to mobile devices will force users to develop new ways to manage and share documents, and printing will continue to be slowly squeezed as entirely digital ways of sharing and viewing documents get easier and easier. The ubiquity of mobile devices is hastening the transformation of paper-centric workflows to electronic business processes, eliminating the need to print. Based on results of the DWTAS 2013 U.S. Office Worker Survey, a large percentage of users do not need to print from their smartphones and tablets, and lack of awareness and complexity are the top two reasons for those who do need to print but are not doing so (see figure below).

The report examines the forces driving computer technology, including hardware performance, device format, wearable computers, the computing environment, and new input technologies. Photizo analysts then look at mobile printing solutions and printer-based print apps, and, along with data from the 2013 U.S. Office Worker survey, assess whether vendors are indeed keeping printing vital, and what improvements need to happen in the future.

“Combined with a broad survey of current user thinking on the evolution of computers and computing devices, we’ve been able to evaluate how new developments in computing technology will impact the future of the hard copy industry,” said Ann Priede, vice president of consulting and services at Photizo Group. “Our knowledge of printing and print habits allows us to develop a framework for evaluating how projected changes in computer technology will affect print.”

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About Photizo Group
A leading transformation firm, Photizo Group assists clients in transforming their businesses from product-centric to services-centric companies. We provide clients with innovative and practical market intelligence, consulting, and education services based on our deep industry insight and objective analysis. Photizo is a trusted advisor and provides clients, as well as the entire imaging market, with the visionary guidance they need to make successful business decisions.

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Ann Priede
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