Wireless Printers: A Technology That's Going to Waste?

PORT WASHINGTON, NEW YORK, NOVEMBER 1, 2010 – More than half of all printers sold at U.S. retail are wireless-capable, but nearly three-quarters of consumers who have access to those printers aren't taking advantage of the increased access to print from multiple devices according to the new Wireless Printing Study, from leading market research company The NPD Group.

According to the report, 75 percent of consumers who have a wireless printer said they are printing the same amount as they did before, despite having more devices connected to their printer. They also tend to print the same types of documents as consumers who don't have wireless printers.

One group that seems to want to embrace the ability to print wirelessly is 18-34 year olds, a group that in the past has had very low printing incidence. Thirty percent of consumers in this age group reported printing more than they did before with their new wireless printer; that's 50 percent higher than consumers 55 and older.

More than half of the younger demographic also set up their printer to connect to multiple devices, but for younger consumers the wireless printing experience is incomplete without the printer enabling more access to mobile devices and digital cameras. So while younger consumers "get it," even they feel that today's device infrastructure is incomplete.

"Clearly the ability to print wirelessly from mobile phones and digital cameras exists, but today's wireless printers focus on the PC and miss opportunities to help create a more complete wireless printing ecosystem for consumers," said Stephen Baker, vice president of industry analysis. "Printer companies have benefited from consumers willing to pay a higher average price for these printers, and we have seen a substantial increase in sales for wireless printers as well. While that's a plus for the short-term, the long-term goals are still evolving on how to change consumers' printing habits by enabling a wider range of connected devices to have easy and ubiquitous access to printers

Want to learn more about advances in the wireless printing industry and how consumers can embrace the technology, read Stephen Baker's latest blog post on The NPD Group Blog.

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