The worldwide consumer market has an enormous appetite for electrical gadgets, according to the latest figures from GfK’s global office which suggests we could spend up to US$618.6 billion this year alone.The location which spends the largest amount of money is America, with China coming in second and Japan third.

And the numbers will keep growing too, says the research company, with figures expected to reach US$667.5 billion next year – with a huge 63 per cent of this accounted for by sales of flatscreen TVs, laptop computers and mobile phones.

“Mobile phones have always been popular, but behind the three big categories there are many other products such as external hard drives, digital photo frames, Global Positioning System devices and games consoles, all fuelling the growth in the market,” said GfK business manager – digital convergence, Antony Rode.

The declining price of technology means more users can gain access to gadgets, with children in the remote regions of China and Africa reportedly getting their hands on their first computers this year.

The declining price also means the number of gadgets shipped is increasing – the consumer electronics market itself grew 16.3 per cent in cash terms in 2006 and is expected to grow a further 12.5 per cent this year. However, next year the market is forecast to grow only 8.2 per cent.

“We have price erosion in every category,” said Rode.

“When you see price cuts in every category, despite continued growth in volumes, the sum total of expenditure will decline.”

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