The advances made in A4 multifunction products (MFPs) – together with corporate environmental and efficiency drives – could be leading to the demise of the traditional A3 office copier, according to printing solutions provider Lexmark International.
Increased awareness and concerns about environmental issues, combined with the economic downturn, have led many companies to analyze IT hardware budgets and their devices’ energy output. As an example, the European Commission aims to reduce carbon emissions from Information Technology by 20% in the next ten years, as well as achieving a 20% increase in energy efficiency.
Analysts’ figures indicate that A3 copier use is dying. Five years ago, A3 copiers dominated the market share for businesses – claiming 60% in contrast with MFPs. Since then, shifting marketplace dynamics have combined with changes in paper formats, and results have negatively impacted the copier’s supposed preeminent position in the office. Based on public tender statistics, 97.7% of paper used in the office is A4, compared with just 2.3% for A3.
Lexmark believes the A4 MFP will continue to grow its market share.
“Many companies have more printers and copiers than they actually require, and many need to consolidate their hardware to save on energy, space and costs,” said Mohammad Addarrat, General Manager, Lexmark Middle East. “A3 copiers in particular have become a casualty due to their actual, and carbon, footprint. Multifunction products have caught up with them in terms of functionality, performance and energy output.”
Lexmark’s A4 MFPs have been designed to cater to business users’ needs – and some dealers are referring to them as "copier killers." A3 use is dwindling because the MFPs can offer the same functionality – at about half the price.
“Aside from consolidation considerations, companies are becoming more and more aware and concerned about the impact of technology usage on the environment,” XX added. “Lexmark research undertaken by Ipsos showed that three quarters of people feel guilty when they print unnecessary pages.
“It’s easy to see why using A3 machines, when no A3 is required, is no longer very popular,” XX stated.
Lexmark is committed to helping customers work productively while printing less and saving more. The Lexmark X658 monochrome laser MFP family, for example, enables companies to save up to 25% on the total cost of ownership compared with an A3 copier. Furthermore, it includes a number of features – such as an eco-mode and built-in double-sided printing – that save paper, energy and costs.
“Many companies still feel they have a need for A3 copying, particularly in departments like research and development,” said XX. “However, across the organization’s footprint, IT departments must work toward the right balance between A4 and A3 MFPs to achieve the most environmentally conscious, and most business efficient, printing.”
Advances made in A4 MFPs together with corporate environmental and efficiency drives could lead to demise of A3 office copier