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LCD sets drive sale of consumer electronics across Asia: GfK study

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MUMBAI: Market research firm GfK Asia has released its 2005 Year End Pan Asian Consumer Electronics Data Summary.

This highlights the trends in the region's consumer electronics sector for 2005 in several categories across Asia. The report includes data from 11 countries including China, South Korea, Taiwan and Hong Kong.

The most significant growth in the television segment both in volume and value across the region, was seen in the LCD market, which more than doubled the plasma volume but equaled plasma value over the same time period.

This data highlights the continuing trend away from conventional TV and projection TV towards LCD and plasma screen. Massive increases in LCD market volume and value were seen in Indonesia over 500 per cent , China over 450 per cent, Korea 431 per cent, and Malaysia over 350 per cent.

Alll countries surveyed showed an overall increase over plasma televisions. This may be due to the lower power consumption requirements, quicker response time and larger screen sizes of the LCD as compared to the plasma. However, it's higher average unit price still allows a secure place in the market for price sensitive consumers who prefer the lower cost plasma.

The DVD recorder market grew significantly in all 11 Asian countries surveyed, with an average increase of 141 per cent in volume, and a 78 per cent increase in value. Normally a slow adopter, Australia posted surprising results with an increase in volume (188 per cent) and an increase in value (104 per cent). This may be explained by the Australian consumer's greater desire for home recording of popular TV programming.

Vietnam showed an increase of 191 per cent in volume and 119 per cent in value in the home theatre market, where other countries in the region ranged anywhere from a decrease of 19 per cent volume to a maximum volume increase of only 14 per cent.

A consistent decline in personal head phone stereos was seen in all 11 countries tracked. The largest decline was seen in Thailand which was down by 67 per cent in terms of volume. With the smallest decrease seen in Indonesia down by 15 per cent.

Similarly, the video camcorder results reveal the beginning of the end of the product life cycle with data showing negative to very limited average growth throughout the region.

While the total MP3 market was up across the region, the most notable average increase in 2005 against 2004 was the MP3 with Hard Disk Drive over the MP3 with flash. In the five countries GfK tracked, all showed remarkable
average volume growth of over 200% at year-end compared to the same time frame in 2004. Australia lead the region posting a 549 per cent increase in volume size and an average value growth of 639 per cent for MP3 with flash, and a 201 per cent volume increase for MP3 with Hard Disk Drive, against the same period in 2004.

GfK commercial director of consumer electronics, Asia Victor Chua says, "Today's consumer is savvy; they are comparing every single dollar they pay per memory capacity they get and basing their purchases on best value. For instance, a 1G byte MP3 with flash has an average selling price of $ 176 while a 5 G bytes MP3 with HDD is selling on an average of $ 241. Our results show that consumers are willing to pay more for the greater increase in memory. We do see a challenge to the MP3 market in South Korea where more and more mobile phone makers have integrated MP3 functions into their products. This technology will impact the demand for the MP3 players in this market."

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