The overall Middle East and Africa (MEA) hardcopy peripherals (HCP) market contracted in both units and value in Q2 2020, according to the latest insights from International Data Corporation (IDC).

The global technology research and consulting firm’s Worldwide Quarterly Hardcopy Peripherals Tracker shows that 1,01-million units were shipped in the region in Q2 2020 for a total value of $263,81-million, down 16,5% and 38,7%, respectively, year on year.

These declines can primarily be attributed to supply-chain disruptions and subdued demand caused by the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The performance of the region’s major markets varied widely. While demand for HCP products in South Africa, Turkey, and the UAE was adversely impacted, Saudi Arabia saw notable unit growth due to a surge in consumer spending ahead of the rate of VAT being increased to 15%.

It is also worth noting that the Kenya and Ethiopia markets experienced triple-digit unit growth in Q2 2020 due to upcountry expansion and an online sales push by certain vendors.

Looking at the MEA region as a whole, inkjet shipments were up 7,5% year on year in Q2 2020 to total 218 241 units, while the segment’s value was up 21,2% to $25,27-million.

This growth was primarily driven by demand for entry-level inkjet devices from the $0 to less than $100 price band, which was given a strong boost by the proliferation of remote working trends in the wake of Covid-19.

“In the short term, mid-range inkjet MFPs will most likely remain stable, buoyed by demand from the consumer and home office segments,” says Samar El Sayed, a research manager at IDC.

Shipments of laser devices declined 39,9% in unit terms and 45,1% in value when compared to Q2 2019. The mid-range and high-end speed ranges were the most affected segments, as multiple orders and tenders were either put on hold or canceled completely.

“IDC expects laser devices to experience a sustained slowdown through the rest of the year as many organizations across the region will maintain their remote working practices, with a recovery expected to take place in 2021,” says El Sayed.

In terms of the MEA HCP market’s overall vendor rankings (laser and inkjet combined), HP Inc and Canon placed first and second, respectively, in unit terms in Q2 2020, together accounting for almost 80% of the market’s overall shipments.

Epson remained in third place thanks to strong sales of its ink tank devices, which accounted for almost 96% of its shipments to the region during the quarter. Epson outperformed all other vendors in this particular segment.

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