The overall Middle East and Africa (MEA) hardcopy peripherals (HCP) market posted growth in both units and value in FY2023, according to the latest insights from International Data Corporation (IDC).

The technology research and consulting firm’s Worldwide Quarterly Hardcopy Peripherals Tracker shows that 5,71-million units were shipped in the region in FY2023 for a total value of $2,25-billion, representing year-on-year growth of 3,7% in units and 5,2% in value.

This growth can primarily be attributed to the increased focus of vendors on pushing inkjet and color laser sales in the region.

Of the region’s major markets, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Türkiye all recorded year-on-year growth in FY2023.

However, demand for HCP products in South Africa declined on the back of electricity supply shortages (load shedding), stagnant economic growth, and high levels of unemployment. These factors have constrained South Africa’s growth in recent years, negatively impacting shipments of HCP devices.

It is also worth noting that the Kenyan, Ethiopian, and Nigerian markets all experienced significant shipment growth in FY2023 due to the expansion strategies and aggressive marketing campaigns enacted by certain vendors.

Looking at the MEA region as a whole, inkjet shipments increased 8% year on year in FY2023 to total of 3,49-million units, while the segment’s value was up 11,3% to $545,38-million. The growth in units stemmed from increased demand for devices used within the small office/home office (SOHO) segments.

In addition, there was a lot of aggressive marketing activity by some of the market’s leading vendors, which helped boost shipments to satisfy this growth in SOHO demand for HCP devices. Meanwhile, the growth in value can be attributed to increased demand for business inkjet devices.

“Small and medium-sized businesses across Africa increased their levels of technology spending in 2023 and we expect demand from these customers to remain resilient despite the ongoing economic challenges,” says Sharon Rono, a research analyst at IDC. “This surge in tech spending and HCP demand across the region is primarily being driven by the post-pandemic trend toward digital transformation.”

While shipments of mono laser devices across the MEA region declined in both units and value in FY2023, the colour laser segment saw significant growth of more than 50% in unit terms compared to the previous year. The production segment also performed very strongly, particularly in Africa.

“As the office printing market becomes more and more saturated, vendors are capitalising on advancements in digital printing technology to diversify their product portfolios and reach out to more end users within the commercial and industrial segments,” says Samar El-Sayed, a research manager at IDC.

In terms of the MEA HCP market’s overall vendor rankings (laser and inkjet combined) for FY2023, HP Inc and Canon placed first and second, respectively, in unit terms. Together, they accounted 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 80% of the vendor’s shipments to the MEA region in FY2023.