More than $6.8 billion was spent on nearly 15 million digital devices in 2010; however retailers are tipping that this could fall “significantly” in 2011.According to a new digital lifestyle study, consumers are still investing in new TVs and personal video recorders. LCD TV sales grew 18 percent while PVR sales were up 25 percent.
The report, commissioned by Canon, said that a key driver for the categories that survived the worst fall in 8 years was a 13 percent decrease in the average price of goods.
They said that the 13 percent decline was the largest ever half-year on half-year average price reduction, and the first ever July-December half-year on half-year average price decline since the Canon CDLI began in 2003.
The standout category performers in 2010 included Digital SLR cameras which increased in volume by 51 percent. Demand for Full HD panels grew in units by 39 percent.The report revealed that products such as PCs and digital cameras were upgraded faster than ever. 44 [percent of all PC buyers (up 25 percent) bought their PC within 2 years of their previous purchase, and 26 percent of 2H 2010 digital camera buyers (up 6 percent) did the same.
One third of PC buyers purchased a new storage or backup system with the market for storage growing by 65 percent over the last 4 years.
The report also said that more advanced devices are being connected to PTVs, and technology buyers are increasing their home networking of Desktops (43 percent, up 1 percent), Notebooks (47 percent, up 4 percent), Televisions (9 percent, up 1 percent), and Mobile Phones (22 percent, up 5 percent).
In some categories the market has become saturated with digital products reaching high penetration levels. Digital Camera and PC purchases are well over 80 percent. The report also said that PC usage has evolved from being more around work/study to becoming more about communication (e.g. Skype, up 6 percent), leisure (e.g. watching TV, up 5 percent), and general web browsing (up 4 percent).
In fact, using a PC for leisure (non-work related) activities occupies more time per week (12 hours) than watching DVDs, pay TV, or even free-to-air TV.
As new interest rate rises loom in Australia the report claims that the interest rate rises of 2010 had an immediate negative impact on consumer sentiment (the Westpac-Melbourne Institute Consumer Sentiment Index fell by 6.3 points), and the lowered mood carried over to December, which meant that the most critical time of the year for retailers (the November-December Christmas sales period) was disadvantaged.