Leading research company GFK has said that the consumer electronics market will decline despite reaching over $681 bn in sales and, while the Australian market is still growing, the USA will decline 12 per cent and Europe 36 per cent.
Demand for navigation, digital cameras and MP3 players is expected to fall significantly.
Growth has come from three core product groups in 2009, including LCD TVs, laptops and HD DVD players (Blu-ray), whereas in 2008, ten products were driving the market.
GFK said that it is not only the global financial crisis and the accompanying reduction in demand that has resulted in this decline, but price erosion and a scarcity of new offers have also been a key factor.
Product groups that are in decline include Portable Navigation Devices (-15% in 2009 compared to 2008 in value), Multimedia Players (-11%) and Digital Cameras (-11%).
The single biggest driving factor that bought consumers into stores was flat panel TVs, said GFK.
Between January and September, there has been sustained demand for LCD TVs, with almost 100 million flat panels sold around the world. “Even with volume growth of 33 per cent, value is declining by 3 per cent due to a huge price erosion of 27 per cent,” GFK wrote.
It claims that demand still remained strong in Q3 2009, with 34 million LCD sets sold. However, GFK claims that price erosion is slowing down at -21 per cent versus Q3 2008, and the average price is now below $900.
It also claims that, since the beginning of the year, consumers have demanded smaller screens by majority, with many now buying a second or third screen for the home.
GFK said that sales of 20-23″ panels doubled in 2009, with demand for 30-34″ outpacing the market to have now have 36 per cent share.
This favours brands like Toshiba, who has kept its mix to primarily below 40″. Demand in Q4 is expected to grow by 32 per cent, with LCD TV set sales reaching 47 million units. Global LCD TV sales in 2009 should reach 145 million units.
The findings are based on real, POS sales data from over 400,000 retailers worldwide, including Australia and New Zealand.