GfK: 2011 ‘year of the smartphone’, but CE falls in revenue

The telco sector has equalled consumer electronics in size

Results of the fourth quarter 2011 Temax survey conducted by research company, GfK Retail and Technology (GfK RT) indicate a four per cent year-on-year growth in the $19.4 billion Technical Consumer (TCG) market in 2011.

GfK attributes the figure to the ‘year of the smartphone’, which saw a 41 per cent full-year value growth in the telecommunications sector in 2011, while consumer electronics (CE) revenue dropped by 14 per cent.

New models launched in the final quarter dominated the smartphone segment, and helped drive pre-Christmas sales. In total, smartphones accounted for nearly 75 per cent of all mobile phones purchased in the same quarter.

As a result, the telco sector has equalled consumer electronics (CE) in size, at an estimated $1.25 billion.

The television market, which comprises over half the value of the CE sector, was to blame for CE’s revenue fall.

The fourth quarter, which was characterised by aggressive price discounting, faced unit growth, but resulted in double-digit value decline.

Temax also showed low-end sale domination over Christmas, with attractive pricing driving growth in 3D and Web-connected TVs, and Blu-ray growth which achieved over 50 per cent of the value of the DVD/Blu-ray segment.

Further reports highlighted a seven per cent fourth quarter growth for the IT industry, with strong webbook sales pushing the segment.

Major and small domestic appliances (MDA and SDA) remained flat, and DSLR cameras and mirrorless compact system cameras assisted the photo sector in both unit and value growth.

GfK predicts that the Australian TCG market will be focusing on diversification and innovation in 2012 as brands and retailers announce a bumpy start to the year with gloomy results.

The Temax is an index developed by GfK to track the technical consumer goods markets. The results, which are carried out by a retail panel, comprise data from over 370,000 retail outlets globally.