Australians spent more than $650 million on digital lifestyle products in the fourth quarter of 2003, according to the Canon Consumer Digital Lifestyle Index (CDLI).
The represented an increase of 27 per cent on previous corresponding quarter and came about despite average unit process falling across the spectrum.
Digital TV average prices fell by an average $1334.26 (19.7 per cent) during the past year. Other large price drops were seen in MFDs (down 40.2 per cent), DVD players (down 35 per cent), and digital camcorders (down 23.2 per cent).
In general, prices dropped less for technologies that had been around for longer periods. For example, inkjet printer prices were down seven per cent and VCR prices fell 6.4 per cent.
According to the index, the sale of digital cameras increased by 123 per cent from 2002 to 2003. Sales of MFDs increased 273 per cent. Digital TVs contributed to a 338 per cent increase in annual sales during the same period.
This growth in sales has been noted by distributors and resellers alike.
“We took on Canon late last year, so we’ve obviously seen enormous growth,” Express Online general manager, David Gage, said. “But we’ve been seeing growth across our entire range, particularly for digital cameras.”
Gage also noted that sales across the entire digital camera segment were increasing.
“We’re getting a lot of customers who want to buy additional memory,” he said. “Not just first timers, but old customers coming back for upgrades.”
The biggest selling point for cameras was still megapixels, Gage said.
"And our biggest frustration is in getting LCD monitors,” he said.
Digital still and video cameras are also a particularly large area of growth for reseller Harvey Norman, according to Harvey Norman general manager of the computer division John Slack-Smith.
“Digital cameras have been a key growth area for this company for the past 12 months, over and above any other product in the digital lifestyle category,” he said.
“It’s an example of a technology that has arrived in the right place at the right time, with a combination of quality technology, quality brands and falling prices.
“People are taking more and more photographs, and are able to share them with family and friends over email and the Internet with the technology available. They’re able to create their own slideshows and home movies.”
Harvey Norman had not seen any real growth in digital television sales, Slack-Smith said, although MFDs and digital set-top boxes were other big growth areas.
The Canon Consumer Digital Lifestyle Index (CDLI) is conducted by GfK Marketing Services (GfK) on behalf of Canon Australia and published each quarter