The overall African hardcopy peripherals market (HCP) suffered a year-on-year decline in shipments in Q3 2016, but remained steady in value according to the latest insights released by global ICT research and advisory services firm International Data Corporation (IDC).

Tough economic conditions continued to prove a challenge across Africa, particularly in some of the region’s largest markets, with shipments declining 6,5% to total 470 308 units; however, the overall market’s value increased a steady 4,7% over the same period to reach $196,09-million, spurred by the strong performance of the inkjet segment.

“While major markets like South Africa and Nigeria suffered large declines in the number of units shipped as households reprioritize their spending on more basic needs, Algeria and Tunisia were able to offset this with strong gains in the color inkjet space,” says Roberto Alunni, research manager for imaging, printing and document solutions at IDC Middle East, Africa, and Turkey.

“While entry-level devices (less than $100) account for the majority of sales in unit terms, the midrange price band ($100–$300) – which primarily serves demand from the SOHO and SMB segments – accounts for more than half of the inkjet market’s total value.

“HP Inc continued to dominate the African inkjet market in Q3 2016 with more than 60.0% share in both unit and value.”

Laser shipments declined 4.9% year on year in Q3 2016 to total 251,247 units, although the value of these shipments increased 3.2% over the same period to reach $166.36 million. This discrepancy can be attributed to the growth of color laser shipments across several speed segments, but particularly in the fastest speed segments (70–90ppm and 91ppm+), which contributed over 21% of the overall market’s value.

Despite a unit decline in South Africa, the market was still able to record an increase in value entirely due to strong growth in the 70–90ppm and 91ppm+ speed segments, primarily as a result of large public sector tenders.

The A3 laser segment is the primary generator of the value increase in Africa thanks to ongoing demand from both government and private sectors. The shift from mono to color has accelerated, mainly due to improved affordability stemming from increased competition. IDC expects the A3 laser segment to enjoy a steady growth rate over the coming years.

The serial dot matrix (SDM) market fell significantly in Q3 2016, with shipments down 27.0% year on year to 9,973 units and the value of those units declining 39.8% to $4.7 million. The main cause of this ongoing decline is the adoption of newer and more efficient technologies by the major users of SDM technology, such as banks and government institutions.