By Claire Reilly
Information technology was one of the categories in consumer electronics with the highest value in the second quarter of 2012, but since the same time last year, this category has also seen “significant, structural change”. That’s according to the GfK Temax report for Q2 2012, which points to a number of areas that have seen a boost in the IT sector.
“The webbooks segment has experienced extremely rapid growth, now accounting for a third of the value of total PCs,” said GfK analyst Gwenno Hopkin. “At this stage, the growth (and relatively steady pricing) of webbooks has more than countered the double-digit value decline of mobile PCs.
“The overall value of the sector has also been positively affected by a 5 per cent average price increase for mobile PCs,” Hopkin added. “One of the factors driving the price increase is the popularity of ultrathin PCs.
“Other factors include the increased cost of hard drive storage since the Thailand floods, and the move away from lower-end mobile PCs; the segment affected most by the growth of webbooks.”
In addition to the changes seen by the IT sector, the adoption of smartphones (and associated sales in the category) has radically shifted in a remarkably short time, according to the Temax report.
“Following an extraordinary quarter 4, 2011 peak in Telco value growth (65 per cent), the slowdown in growth in 2012 has been rapid: 19 per cent in quarter 1, and 2 percent in quarter 2,” said Hopkin. “This reflects the maturing of the smartphone segment; the largest single value segment of the Australian technical consumer goods market.
“From low penetration levels in early 2011, when the rapid take-up of this new technology began, Australia is now reported to have one of the highest smartphone penetration rates in the world.
“Due to the relatively high price of smartphones, compared with traditional mobile phones, owners of a smartphone are much more likely to be tied-in to a contract. Therefore, replacement purchase cycles will be affected by contractual period-ends, as well as the timing and attractiveness of new model launches.”
For more on the GfK Temax report, read Current.com.au's story on small appliances: "Big quarter for vacuums and heaters, food prep and coffee slowing"