Gartner Says India Printer Copier and Multifunctional Product Market witnessed a 3.9 Percent Growth in the First Quarter Of 2012. The page printer market declined 13.5 percent and the inkjet printers market marginally declined of 3.3 percent compared to the first quarter of 2011. The growth is skewed towards MFPs (multifunction products). An MFP that consolidates Print/ copy/ scan/ fax/networked enabled--- functions is a more productive device than standalone printers. Though printers will not die out, there would be a market contraction.

Managed Print Services appears to have taken over the Indian printer market.

"MPS is a good as well as a bad thing for printer market. Through MPS, one can consolidate many printers.

The advancement of electronic media such as smartphones and tablets as a means of communication has also contributed to the decline of printer shipments but the printer will not fade off. However, the demand for printers will definitely come down, according to Gartner.

The research firm also believes that there is very little scope for new entrants in this already shrinking printer market. "I do not think there will be any scope to the new players to enter in the market because HP has already covered more than the 50 percent of the market. There are quite a few printer players in India and I would not say that there would be any new player at the moment," said Choudhary at Gartner.

While the technology and market continues to evolve, printers are not yet out of the reckoning. There is a strong swing towards services. "There is a shift happening in the market, it is not only about selling boxes anymore. But vendors are keen about the service aspect of it," the Gartner analyst added.

The figures compel the OEMs and channel partners to take a long hard look at their current strategies. Whether they want to stick to just selling boxes, concentrate further on the services, or work on amalgamating hardware, software, and services is a call they would have to take, and take soon.