Lower Oil Prices, Elections Result in Slight Decline in Middle-East Printer/Copier/MFP Market, Says IDC

middle east mapThe overall Middle East hardcopy peripherals (HCP) market suffered a year-over-year decline in both volume and value in first-quarter 2015, according to the latest insights announced today by global technology-consulting firm International Data Corporation (IDC). Just over a million units were shipped for a total value of $330 million, down 5.7 percent and 8.6 percent, respectively, although Saudi Arabia and the UAE both rode out low global oil prices to post strong unit growth year-over-year.

Note that in its Quarterly Hardcopy Peripherals Tracker, IDC tracks A2, A3, and A4 devices; hardcopy peripherals include single-function printers, MFPs, and single-function digital copiers for both office-based and production segments. IDC considers the Middle East to consist of the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait, Egypt, Pakistan, Turkey, and the rest of Middle East.

According to IDC, after a strong performance in most markets last year, 2015 began more cautiously as the full effects of lower global oil prices and currency fluctuations began to impact the HCP markets of the Middle East. IDC says responsibility for the region’s overall decline can be laid at the door of the Turkish and Egyptian markets, with the delay of purchases ahead of general elections in mid-June hindering the former and ongoing currency volatility hampering the latter.

“Despite the overall decline, shipments of mono laser devices remained flat year-on-year, indicating that demand from the SMB (small and mid-size business) and enterprise segments of the market remains steady,” commented Roberto Alunni, research manager for imaging, printing, and document solutions at IDC Middle East, Africa, and Turkey. “Saudi Arabia and the UAE continue to support the region’s HCP market, particularly its laser segment, although the relatively low and volatile global oil prices may pose a threat to large-scale projects for oil-exporting economies in the short-term.”

Inkjet shipments across the Middle East declined to 400,000 units in first-quarter 2015, with a corresponding fall in value to just over $40 million. Despite this decline in the overall technology, A3 inkjet devices aimed at the SMB segment recorded strong growth. Vendors have been promoting models that print at a reduced cost and faster – both key requirements for business – and that have the ability to support the occasional need to print in a larger format in full color.

Laser shipments remained flat year-over-year, totaling 585,000 units; however, increasing competition led to a slight decline in value to approximately $280 million. While entry-level devices suffered a year-over-year decline, demand from business and government tenders continued to support growth at the higher end of the market.

Serial dot matrix (SDM) shipments declined significantly in first-quarter 2015 to approximately 29,000 units worth just under $12 million. The pressure on SDM vendors continues, as end users are transitioning to newer and more efficient technologies.

For more information about IDC’s Quarterly Hardcopy Peripherals Tracker, contact Ashwin Venkatchari at avenkatchari@idc.com.

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