Worldwide GfK survey predicts global market to grow

By Craig Zammit

NUREMBERG: GfK Marketing Services has conducted a worldwide survey on consumer electronic goods revealing total global spend is predicted to exceed $A705.5 billion, with 12 per cent overall growth predicted across Asia.

The survey also revealed that North and South America are expected to grow nine per cent while Europe, Middle East and Africa look at seven per cent growth.

“With a growth rate of 23 per cent, the Asian mobile communications sector is accelerating at twice the rate of the rest of the world,” said the GfK survey.

“Globally, there is an upward trend in the market in the three major product categories. PCs are recording a 20 per cent increase in the value of sales, with mobile phones registering 16 per cent and TVs, a 12 per cent rise.

“These specific market segments, which collectively represent 60 per cent of the entire consumer electronics sector, are innovation driven and this includes the move to notebooks, the success of the smart phone and the inexorable rise of the flat screen. The impact of some of the smaller product segments contributes further to the bigger picture.

“This applies, for example, to the demand for portable navigation devices, which is anticipated to rise by 84 per cent and that for MP3 players, where a 15 per cent increase in sales is expected.”

According to the GfK survey, spending is also expected to increase nine per cent on audio/video equipment, photographic imaging, IT and communication products in 2007.

“As in earlier years, TV remained the dominant engine of growth in consumer electronics. In the first half of the year, sales were up nine per cent, a result all the more impressive considering that the first six months of 2006, which represent the basis for comparison, was an extremely buoyant period, due to the World Cup football championships.

“LCD TV sales were up 36 per cent. Sets with 32-inch (82 cm) screens were the runaway hit, with one in three customers opting to buy this size and 17 per cent of buyers choosing TVs with 37-inch (94 cm) or bigger screens.

“Conversely, the demand for plasma TVs dropped by 10 per cent in terms of value of sales. While the most popular set remained the 42-inch (106 cm) screen, sales of 50+ inch screens have more than tripled in terms of units sold and these now account for one quarter of the total revenue generated by plasma screens.

“DVD players and recorders were not as popular in the first half of 2007 as in the prior year. Overall, nine per cent fewer units were sold, which equates to a 13 per cent reduction in value terms. Even the DVD recorder segment stagnated, although the picture improves in the case of DVD hard disc devices, where the demand was up 23 per cent in terms of units sold to account for one third of total sales in the DVD market.

“Around two in three HD buyers chose a device with a 160GB drive. Increased demand for more memory also stimulated sales in the 250GB segment, which has represented a 15 per cent share of units sold.

“Based on sales to date, GfK is anticipating sales amounting to 6.7 million recorders for the year as a whole.”

The survey also revealed that price pressure in the camcorder market led to a downturn of 10 per cent in terms of sales value, with DVD camcorders accounting for 27 per cent of all camcorders sold and camcorders with hard discs or memory cards for 20 per cent. For 2007, GfK is anticipating camcorder sales totaling 4.2 million.

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