IDC's latest Q3 printer sales figures reveal the price of multifunction laser colour printers (MFP) has dropped 40 per cent compared with the same quarter last year.
Single function colour laser printers also followed suit - retail price tags fell 29 per cent over the same period.
IDC analyst, Rishi Ghai, attributed the drop to the maturity of both product lines.
"The novelty factor associated with lasers, MFP and colour [printers] is wearing out and a commoditisation of these products has already begun, which would further accelerate the process of price drops," he said.
Ghai forecast prices for laser printers would continue to fall in the next couple of years but at a slower rate.
By comparison, overall sales of printers experienced a two per cent fall compared with last quarter's figures.
Ghai said the print market stayed afloat because of the price reduction of phased-out models and the introduction of new and improved devices. Channel partners should start tapping into the managed services arena to generate more revenue, he said.
"Businesses are beginning to invest in productivity as opposed to initial round up costs and putting a commitment in servicing has improved business spending," Ghai said.
HP maintained top spot amongst the vendors during Q3, with 27 per cent of the printer market. It was closely followed by Canon (25 per cent) and Lexmark (16).
Top 5 printer vendors, Q3 2005
1. HP - 27 per cent 2. Canon - 25 per cent 3. Lexmark - 16 per cent 4. Epson - 13 per cent 5. Brother - 7 per cent