Dreaming of a tablet Christmas: Harvey Norman offers hot product predictions

By Claire Reilly

With only twelve days to go until Christmas (it’s twelve drummers drumming, in case you were wondering) retailers are gearing up for the final dash to the sales finish line. Appliance retailers in particular have a lot to be excited about this year, with plenty of new products on the market to lure cautious spenders to the tills.

Current spoke to Ben McIntosh, the head of Harvey Norman’s Computer Division, to talk about his predictions for best-selling products, and why it’s not all doom and gloom in the marketplace.

“I think sometimes in Australia we’re very critical of ourselves and we talk ourselves into negativity,” said McIntosh. “But I’m not all that negative about Christmas. Even though there’s some cloud on the horizon with regards to Europe and the US, Australia is in a fantastic position.

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“The products and prices in the Australian market, especially in consumer electronics, have never been better. It literally has never been a better time to be a consumer. You’re getting genuinely great prices, genuinely good competition from all retailers, so my advice to consumers is to come and spend some money – we’ve never had it this good in Australia and it’s never been a better time to be a consumer."

As far as what consumers will spend their money on, McIntosh suggested this was the Christmas for technophiles to get excited about.

 “I think it’s definitely going to be a tablet Christmas, there’s no doubt about it, tablets in all brands are the hottest products out there,” he said. “The other one obviously is smartphones – we keep talking about smartphones, but they are just becoming so good and so much a part of our everyday lives – it’s going to be a smartphone Christmas as well.

“And the other category that I like is Ultrabooks. The technology industry is finally giving customers a reason to look at good quality machines apart from the specifications – it’s about weight, it’s about the look and feel, it’s about the design of it, which is great.”

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