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IDC Says Inkjets Prospered While Lasers Languished in the Region

The Middle East hardcopy peripherals (HCP) market declined 1.5% year on year in Q3 2016 to total 754,760 units, according to the latest Quarterly Hardcopy Peripheral Tracker results published by global ICT research and advisory services firm International Data Corporation (IDC). The decline was much steeper in revenue terms, with the market’s value falling 10.8% year on year in Q3 2016 to total $242.22 million.

While the inkjet market posted strong growth in both units and value, this was offset by a corresponding decline in laser shipments, which account for the majority of the HCP market’s overall value. Total inkjet shipments increased 12.4% year on year in Q3 2016 to reach 400,427 units, with the segment’s value rising 18.5% to $43.20 million. Surprisingly, Saudi Arabia was one of the region’s biggest growing inkjet markets, recording an increase of 12.8% in units and 12.4% in value to total 132,486 units worth $8.86 million.

Vendors operating in the kingdom ran a number of successful promotions during the quarter, including popular “Back to School” campaigns. Canon focused its advertising on showcasing the ability of its PIXMA series to print calendars and greeting cards, and subsequently gained market share in the Saudi Arabian inkjet market. The remainder of the Middle East inkjet market reported overall growth due in particular to the strong performance of A4 format devices, with retail consumers taking advantage of special offers on such devices despite depressed economic conditions.

It was a different story in the region’s mono laser market, however, with shipments down 11.2% year on year in Q3 2016 to 266,523 units. Mono laser revenues fell 20.9% over the same period to total $105.42 million. The decline mainly stems from the region’s reliance on oil revenues to fund large-scale infrastructure projects. The persistently low global oil price is negatively impacting the feasibility of many of these projects and therefore stifling the growth of many GCC economies, which in turn leads to lower demand for IT hardware such as HCP devices.

The color laser market also suffered in Q3 2016, with shipments down 14.7% to 69,611 units and revenues down 2.2% to $86.93 million. The market for A3 laser hardcopy devices, which is a good indicator economic activity in both the public and private sectors, declined 29.2% in units and 14.8% in value year on year in Q3 2016 to total 25,273 units worth $113.24 million.

This was mainly due to the lack of tenders in the region as a result of the austerity measures many governments have announced. The hardest hit countries were Saudi Arabia and Turkey, where the market more than halved year on year.

“The surprisingly positive performance in the inkjet segment indicates that consumer demand is still relatively robust, particularly for products that boast with innovative features,” says Roberto Alunni, research manager for imaging, printing and document solutions at IDC Middle East, Africa, and Turkey. “While we don’t project a significant recovery in the region’s HCP market over the short term, there are encouraging signs that the market may be close to bottoming out.”

Middle East Top 5 Vendor Shares Annual Comparison

Vendor Q32016 Q32015
HP Inc 51.2% 51.5%
Canon 20.4% 15.7%
Epson 10.6% 8.3%
Brother 5.9% 6.6%
Samsung 4.5% 4.8%
Others 7.4% 13.1%

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Chris Fernando

Chris N. Fernando is an experienced media professional with over two decades of journalistic experience. He is the Editor of Arabian Reseller magazine, the authoritative guide to the regional IT industry. Follow him on Twitter (@chris508) and Instagram (@chris2508).

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