As expected, flatbed scanner vendors finished the third quarter of 2003 up slightly over the results of Q2-2003. Total shipments were 77,936 units and represented a sequential increase of five per cent. However, activity was down over the same quarter in 2002. The trend of annual declines is a consistent

one throughout 2003, which is indicative of a declining market.

Hewlett-Packard (HP) and Canon continued to dominate the market, accounting for a combined unit market share of 81 per cent. Both vendors were able, through aggressive promotions and product placement strategies, to snap market share away from some of the smaller vendors. Growth and stability for both vendors in this segment is expected to continue in the final quarter of 2003 and into 2004.

Leading flatbed scanner vendors this year are: HP, Canon, UMAX, Microtek, BenQ. and Epson.

In both quarters, purchasers opted for units with 48-bit colour. Forty-eight bit colour technology is expected to maintain its strong presence on retail shelves throughout the country as the Christmas season heats up and accounted for 83 per cent of third quarter scanner shipments.

The computer distribution go-to-market strategy boded well for scanner vendors in Q3 2003. The majority of vendors, including Canon, HP, Epson and BenQ, relied upon distribution agreements to bring the products to the hands of corporate and consumer purchasers alike, as 69 per cent of product shipments went directly to distributors. This trend is expected to continue in Q4 2003.

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