Attack of the Clones: New Kids on the Block Shake Up CEE Consumables Space

Attack of the Clones: New Kids on the Block Shake Up CEE Consumables Space

Attack of the Clones: New Kids on the Block Shake Up CEE Consumables Space

The FINANCIAL -- Thriving sales of cheap new-build compatible products are having a profound impact on the CEE printer and MFP consumables market, according to global market intelligence firm International Data Corporation (IDC).

The FINANCIAL -- Thriving sales of cheap new-build compatible products are having a profound impact on the CEE printer and MFP consumables market, according to global market intelligence firm International Data Corporation (IDC). While the region's overall consumables shipments were down just 1.5% year on year for the second half of 2013, IDC is seeing a notable shift in the composition of the market, particularly in the compatibles space, where the increasing popularity of so-called 'clones' is proving troublesome for both OEMs and the producers of remanufactured consumables.

The emergence of clones — new-build compatible consumables with a design very close to the originals with which they compete — is the latest in a long line of challenges to the established order. Clones use a non-original (non-OEM) cartridge core and other non-original components, and they carry much lower prices than standard compatibles. And not only are clones difficult to distinguish from original OEM products, they are typically not recycled, thus creating additional waste.

"Clone penetration differs widely across the CEE countries," said Tomas Hoda, a research manager at IDC CEMA. "While penetration in countries like Ukraine or Romania is still relatively small, IDC estimates that in Russia, Poland, the Czech Republic, and Hungary clones could represent nearly one third of compatibles shipments, and this has obvious implications for the manufacturers of original consumables operating in these markets," he added.

 

In volume terms, the overall CEE inkjet consumables market contracted 5.1% year on year in H2 2013, while its value suffered an even steeper decline of 16.1%. The inkjet market declined across all CEE countries in both units and revenue in H2 2013, primarily due to a declining installed base and the increasing prevalence of cheap compatible consumables, according to IDC.


The laser market fared better, with shipments of toner consumables up 4.6% in volume and 7.3% in value. Toner sales recorded growth in most CEE countries, with the market's value receiving a boost from increased demand for color toners in the business sector. However, this growth does little to mask the increasing influence that cloned consumables are having on the overall market.

"Both the inkjet and toner markets were strongly impacted in H2 2013 by cheap compatible vendors and the arrival of clones from Asia. The target of these products is primarily entry-level hardcopy devices with a large installed base. These cheap compatibles and clones damage not only original vendors, but also traditional local manufacturers, and are considered a serious threat for the traditional consumables industry in the coming years," Hoda added.