Thermal barcode label printer vendors have an opportunity to innovate on the hardware front in order to differentiate their offerings from that of the competition.
Natick, MA (PRWEB) July 21, 2015
The global stationary thermal barcode printer market grew 6.3% from 2013 to 2014, as evidenced by VDC’s recently-concluded research on the topic. A sharp 9% increase in desktop printer revenues contributed to this overall high single digit sales growth. Industrial printer sales stayed relatively flat in the Americas (1% decline), but showed high single digit growth in both Europe as well as Asia-Pacific. VDC expects the overall stationary barcode printer market to grow to $1.5 billion by 2019, at a CAGR of 4.4%. Desktop printers will account for 40% of overall barcode printer revenues by 2019, up from 36% in 2014, at the expense of industrial label printing solutions.
Like with handheld scanners, ongoing global exchange rate fluctuations are having an impact on product pricing, especially in the European market. VDC predicts average selling price for barcode printers to show a marginal increase in the region this year with vendors including Honeywell and Zebra having raised prices in Europe to offset the impact of currency fluctuations.
Zebra Technologies experienced a phenomenal 10% growth in barcode printer hardware sales from 2013 to 2014. For the company to have achieved this off a large base in a market that is generally viewed as being stable and relatively saturated is particularly remarkable. Its acquisition of Motorola Solutions’ Enterprise business unit did not affect the performance of its legacy business in 2014. Honeywell expanded its presence in the barcode printer market with its acquisition of Datamax-O’Neil. The company now has a sizable printer portfolio with which it is particularly successful in the industrial supply chain (manufacturing and T&L verticals).
While new product development and innovation from leading vendors had taken somewhat of a backseat, renewed R&D efforts will help stave off competition in the long run. Hardware vendors from high-growth markets like China, Germany, and South Korea continue to offer stiff competition to industry behemoths with their price-competitive and/or high performance core product lines. These vendors include cab Produkttechnik, Godex International, Shandong New Beiyang, and TSC Printers.
“Barcode printer hardware commoditization and market maturity have led to an influx of suppliers, largely from Asia-Pacific, manufacturing and selling low-cost alternatives," said VDC's Senior Analyst, Richa Gupta. "Market leaders are particularly challenged in high-growth regions where they face severe pricing pressures that have the impact to impact margins and long-term profitability.”
Vendors’ product and market development strategies will need to evolve to meet compliance legislation, pricing, and application-specific requirements of leading end user markets – both from a regional as well as industry standpoint. VDC believes rising interest in and demand for color labeling solutions, in-line verification capabilities, and more comprehensive service offerings will prompt printer vendors to reconsider their R&D investments.
About VDC Research:
VDC Research is a leading technology market analyst firm covering the connected world. Founded in 1971, the firm provides market intelligence to the world's leading technology vendors, who rely on VDC analysts for winning market strategies and technology adoption decisions. With unmatched domain expertise and rigorous primary research methodologies, VDC enables clients to find new opportunities for growth and make critical decisions with confidence. Based on a unique blend of quantitative and qualitative analysis that offer granularity and breadth of coverage, VDC is organized around five practice areas, each with its own focused area of coverage. For more information, visit http://www.vdcresearch.com.