GFK Forcasts Big CE Growth Despite Downturn
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Leading research group GFK has forecast overall consumer electronic growth of 9.4% in 2008 over 2007, however Australia and the Oceanic region is set to grow by 16.5%. They also warn that more consumers than ever before are moving online to buy CE products and that big growth categories are memory and 3G modems.

They also say that mature markets such as North America and Western Europe will witness a slowdown in 2008 with these markets looking at moderate growth of only 6.2% in 2009 according to GFK who prepared the report in conjunction with the Consumer Electronic Association. They also say that consumers will spend around US$42 billion on consumer electronic products in 2009.

Driving the growth are key products like, flat panel TV’s, notebooks and memory. During May the memory card market was up 31% in May 2008 compared with the same period last year according to GfK Retail and Technology.

Standard Memory Cards used in a camera are still seeing positive growth, despite the increase from the Micro card sector (predominately used within a mobile phone). However, the little value growth there is in the market is coming from these smaller card types.

The average price of a card is now  half that of two years ago, despite the increase in the average capacity per card sold. The 1GB and 2GB cards now account for just over 80% of the market with the higher capacities gradually taking share.

GFK say that with this in mind, it is worth looking at the online market, where the prices are considerably lower than those of the high street retailer, leading consumers to upgrade at least a capacity by purchasing online. In January as many as one in four cards were sold online. Currently, 22% of the 2GB market is sold online with this increasing to 42% for the 4GB sector. Not really surprising when a 4GB card sold online is half the price of the high street.


GFK also report that another big growth market is 3G wireless modems with #G markets like Auustralia and the UK reporting staggering growth of up to1624% in May 2008 vs. 2007.

The researcher claims that the shape of the market took a significant turn in January 2008. Sales started to rocket combined with a shift of the products’ form factor.  Mobile Modems with USB have been heavily dominating sales, with a share over 95% YTD May 2008 since the beginning of the year.

In spite of the strong year on year value growth (766%) for total mobile modem sales this May, average prices dropped considerably over the last 12 months. This price decline is mainly driven by the fact that the majority of Mobile Dongles are purchased with a mobile data contract, in which case the modem is often given to the end-consumer for free. However, when a Mobile Modem with a USB is purchased as part of a pre-paid scheme, the end-consumer has to pay a one-off fee for the device.