Russian printer market topped $1 bln in 2004 for the first time

With multi-functional printers flying off the shelves and printers exhibiting solid gains, shipments of hardcopy devices (HDs) in Russia rose a solid 22.4% in 2004 to nearly 4.1 mln units. According to IDC, revenue topped $1 bln for the first time 2004 as hardcopy customers started shifting from single-function copiers and printers to multifunction devices. MFP shipments more than tripled in 2004 and are expected to grow at least another 86% in 2005 to more than 870,000 units. Inkjet, the most popular MFP form factor by a narrow margin 2004, will gain ground on laser MFPs at a rate of more than two-to-one in volume due to their affordability and the increase in PC penetration among consumers. Nevertheless, laser MFPs will still be popular, with shipments rising at an annual average of 21% over the next five years.