Printer Shipments in UAE Expand by Nearly a Third in 2003 | About IDC | IDC CEMA

Printer shipments in the UAE rose by almost 33% last year. According to a new IDC study, the aggressive expansion of large retail stores fostered sales of inkjets and, to a lesser degree low-end lasers, especially to home and small-office end users, which accounted for more than half of the total market. Although prices continued to fall, a surge in laser printer shipments (almost double the market average) kept value growth at a healthy 25.7%.

Price sensitivity was nevertheless an important factor in shaping the UAE printer market in 2003. According to IDC's new study, UAE Printers 2004-2008 Forecast and 2003 Vendor Shares, inkjets accounted for more than 55% of total printer shipments but less than 21% of value. Moreover, entry-level inkjets dominated the segment and are expected to do so for the next few years. "The home segment is still pretty far from saturation," says Naser Sha'sha'a, Analyst, IDC CEMA's Office Automation Group. "While we expect low-end MFPs to steal some share from printer vendors, this won't dampen growth in the inkjet segment for quite some time."

Lowered prices also helped fuel sales of mono laser printers in the UAE last year. As a result, volume growth in the segment was more than double that of value growth. "The presence of cheap laser printers in retail outlets like CarreFour and Plug-Ins Electronix lifted sales among home and small office users," says Sha'sha'a. Networking and valued-added services were also important factors, as more and more businesses opted for multi-user systems. Nevertheless, IDC anticipates expansion of the mono laser segment to slow over the next few years. "Prices are dropping for color laser machines at the same time the need for color in business is increasing," says Sha'sha'a.

HP again dominated the UAE printer market, capturing more than half of total shipment volume in 2003. The traditionally inkjet-oriented company took the top position in the laser segment as well, where it also captured more than half of market volume. The top three printer vendors in the UAE accounted for more than 90% of shipment volume and 80% of value. "But there is room for others," says Sha'sha'a. "The UAE is still far from saturation. Vendors wanting to expand sales and market share will need to invest in the right mix of promotional and educational campaigns and work with channel partners that have strong retail connections."

IDC's new study UAE Printers 2004-2008 Forecast and 2003 Vendor Shares discusses the United Arab Emirates market for electronic printers (except small and wide-format printers) used with all levels of computer systems. It assesses the strengths and weaknesses of the top vendors and assembles vendor rankings by technology. The forecasts contain data for the UAE printer market from 2002 through 2008. Unit shipment, value of shipments, and average selling value (ASV) information is presented. Data for 2002-2003 is actual, whereas data for 2004-2008 is projected.

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