Growth in hardcopy peripherals shipments across META highlights continued potential for print, IDC study
The overall Middle East, Turkey, and Africa (META) hardcopy peripherals (HCP) market posted robust year-on-year growth in both units and value in 2018, according to the latest insights from International Data Corporation (IDC).
The global technology research and consulting firm's IDCs Quarterly Hardcopy Peripherals Tracker shows that 5.44 million units were shipped in the region in 2018 for a total value of $1.74 billion, up 8.0% and 6.4%, respectively, year on year.
African markets showed the highest growth rates, with Algeria, Egypt, Nigeria, and South Africa all experiencing double-digit year-on-year growth in both units and value. This strong growth was primarily driven by a recovery in natural resource prices (including oil, platinum, and gold) in 2018, particularly during the first half of the year.
"While digitalization initiatives across META continue to gather pace, demand for paper-based documents remains strong in the region," says Roberto Alunni, IDC's senior research manager for imaging, printing, and document solutions in META. "That's because the use of paper remains necessary in many workflows and business processes, including invoices, legal contracts, and other documents. Indeed, an IDC survey of 391 end-user organizations conducted across the region in 2018 showed that just under half of them still prefer to use paper documents/signatures or a mix of paper and digital documents, rather than relying solely on electronic means to communicate with and report to public authorities."
Laser shipments increased 8.9% year on year in 2018 to total 2.4 million units, with their value rising 4.8% over the same period to reach $1.40 billion. The fastest growth in the laser technology segment was seen in Algeria, Egypt, and Nigeria, while the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) also posted robust growth. A notable exception to this trend was Turkey, which suffered a year-on-year decline in units and value as a result of the August currency crisis.
New technologies introduced by inkjet vendors aimed at increasing printout speeds and reducing the cost per copy have led to renewed interest from both the home and business markets. Inkjet shipments across META increased 7.1% year on year in 2018 to reach 2.92 million units, whilst their value increased at almost twice the rate, up 12.1% to $298.28 million.
"The increased adoption of ink-tank devices across the META region continues to drive the total value of the inkjet market," says Alunni. "While ink-tank devices require a higher upfront cost to purchase the hardware, the ink refills are much cheaper for the end user."
Serial dot matrix (SDM) shipments increased significantly in 2018, reaching 125,749 units worth $47.8 million, up 10.6% and 18.9%, respectively, year on year. The introduction of VAT in GCC countries at the beginning of 2018 led to a rise in demand for these devices, due to the requirement for businesses to print and store invoices.