Report: price drops fuel digital take-up

Report: price drops fuel digital take-up

A plunge of 19.5 per cent in the cost of digital goods during the second quarter of this year has resulted in a mixed bag of consumer electronic sales.

That's the finding of the latest quarterly Consumer Digital Lifestyle Index (CDLI), conducted by GfK Marketing Services (GfK) on behalf of Canon Australia.

The survey, which reports on the acquisition and usage of digital products by Australian consumers, found digital still cameras (DSCs) continued to experience steep sales growth, with 264,797 units being sold in Q2. This represented a 60,000 increase in the number of DSCs sold in Q1.

According to GfK, the lowering price points now being assigned to DSCs prompted the volume jump.

A total of $127 million in sales represented an average DSC cost of just $500, the report stated.

Canon Consumer Imaging Products Group marketing manager, Stuart Poignand, said based on the growth patterns of 2002 and 2003, 2004 unit sales of DSCs could reach 1.5 million - double those of 2003.

DVD players were also favoured in Q2, with Australians spending $60 million on the devices.

Price again played a major factor in motivating consumers, the report found, with the average price for a unit falling 25.6 per cent to $179.38 when compared to a year ago.

Printers by comparison had mixed results over the quarter. Despite some 105,225 inkjet printers being sold, the result was the lowest number recorded by the CDLI since its inception in 2000.

"Sales of inkjet printers have fallen markedly in this quarter posing a question about whether they may be at last in danger of strong competition from entry level laser printers," the report said.

Compared to Q2 2003, unit sales inkjet printers had actually decreased 19.5 per cent. Multi-function device sales had also fallen slightly when compared to Q1 2004.

Epson Australia director of marketing communications, Mike Pleasants, disputed the findings, stating Epson's sales of multi function devices continued to show strong growth quarter-on-quarter with Q2 up by 65 per cent on Q1.

"While multi-function printers now outsell single function printers, Epson's printer sales overall remained very strong," he said. For more on this story, see next week's edition of ARN.

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