Global Mobile Thermal Printers Revenues to Grow to $509 Million by 2020 led by E-commerce Expansion and Enterprise Mobilization, According to New Report by VDC Research

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On-demand, print-as-you-go applications in Retail and Transportation & Logistics to drive greatest growth for mobile printing solutions

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Enterprises are placing greater emphasis on mobilizing the workforce with mobile printers to support daily operations such as DSD, proof-of-delivery, mobile point of sale (mPOS), shelf labeling, and more.

The global mobile thermal printer market posted a 7% growth from 2014 to 2015 and is expected to increase to $509 million by 2020, according to a new report by VDC Research (click here for more info). The Americas will continue to be the major market for these solutions with 53% of global revenue shipments and will grow at an expected 7.5% CAGR through the forecast period, led by increasing investments in mobile thermal printers by retailers and third party logistics providers involved in the growing e-commerce space. This is followed by an equally high growth rate in Asia via deployments of mobile printers across a range of application environments in emerging markets like China and South Korea. Meanwhile, EMEA revenues will grow at a comparatively slower rate due to conservative spending by end users wary of geopolitical and macroeconomic uncertainties surrounding the region. Based on recent conversations with leading vendors, mobile printer deployments are expected to rise greatly in North America and Asia over the forecast period, driven by the e-commerce boom in countries such as the United States, China, India, and South Korea.

Today, mobilizing the workforce involves pairing mobile printers with rugged as well as consumer-grade devices. Businesses across different application environments are equipping their employees with a range of solutions including tablets, mobile computers, in-vehicle mounted laptops, as well as rugged and consumer-grade smartphones to enable printing on the go. Faster consumer device adoption to support enterprise applications, especially in key mobile printer application environments like retail in-store, health care, and direct store delivery, will drive higher growth in mobile printers being paired with these devices.

The global mobile thermal printer competitive landscape is extremely fragmented. Market leaders Zebra and Honeywell face stiff competition from Asian vendors including Bixolon, Epson, and Brother in a broad range of application environments. Participation of smaller players such as Woosim Systems, Able Systems, Printek and Seiko Instruments also adds competitive pressure on market leaders pushing vendors to innovate and differentiate their solutions from each other to capture greater market share and generate more profits.

“In an increasingly competitive and fragmented marketplace for mobile thermal printers, product innovation and distribution channel development will be vital to success in the next 5 years,” said VDC Research Associate, Shahroze Husain. “R&D investments into product features such as battery life, device management, payment capture, and wireless connectivity will drive greater revenue generation and help vendors differentiate from others in the market.”

For vendors, the ability to offer innovative solutions with localized support and services for products will be vital to ensuring success in this space. The growing focus on mobility in the enterprise and e-commerce penetration will further drive mobile printer adoption into segments such as retail and logistics as end-user organizations focus on improving productivity and efficiency to increase revenues and throughput. Applications such as receipt printing, order fulfillment, parcel/item tracking, invoicing, proof-of-delivery, last mile delivery, and inventory management will be the types of applications driving this demand.

About VDC Research:
Founded in 1971, VDC Research provides in-depth insights to technology vendors, end users, and investors across the globe. As a market research and consulting firm, VDC’s coverage of AutoID, enterprise mobility, industrial automation, and IoT and embedded technologies is among the most advanced in the industry, helping our clients make critical decisions with confidence. Offering syndicated reports and custom consultation, our methodologies consistently provide accurate forecasts and unmatched thought leadership for deeply technical markets. Located in Natick, Massachusetts, VDC prides itself on its close personal relationships with clients, delivering an attention to detail and a unique perspective that is second to none.

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Shahroze Husain
VDC Research Group, Inc
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