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Home Photo Printers Reach $1.5 Billion in ’04 Sales

Framingham, Mass. — Riding the coat tails of robust digital camera sales, the home photo printer market reached $1.5 billion in sales in 2004, a growth of 33 percent over the previous year, according to a report from InfoTrends.

Photo printer shipments jumped 39 percent in 2004, lifting the overall home printer market by 8 percent, InfoTrends noted. According to Ed Lee, photo printers and photo-centric multifunction printers (MFPs) represented 30 percent of the home printer market in 2004 and are projected to grow to 40 percent of the market by 2009.

The numbers do not imply that consumers are only printing photos on “photo centric” models, Lee noted. “In fact, all general purpose printers produced in the last few years are capable of printing a decent photo and consumers are using them to print some of their photos on,” Lee said.

InfoTrends pointed to 4 by 6-inch “snapshot” printers as the “surprise success story” of 2004 with sales of 2.2 million units, a growth of 170 percent. Kodak displaced Hewlett Packard to be the top-selling brand in this segment, Lee noted.

Despite the impressive growth, dedicated 4 by 6-inch printers are still less than 5 percent of the total home printer market, the report said.