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GfK Asia Reports Asian IT Retail Market Excelling Against Global Economic Crisis

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2008-08-07 06:42:09     
GfK Asia

GfK Asia releases its 2008 Mid- Year Pan Asian IT Retail Data Summary, which highlights the trends of positive growth in the region's IT sector in direct contrast to the gloomy backdrop of the global economy. The report contains detailed data from nine ( please refer to editors notes) Asian countries showing mid-year figures for 2008 against the same period in 2007. The report covers personal computers (PC), both desktop and notebooks; monitors, printers and multifunctional devices.

Amidst economic market fears, GfK Asia retail PC market findings for the first half of 2008, which covers both notebooks and desktops, shows retail sales are up an average 19% in volume across the nine countries surveyed with sales totaling approximately 8.7 Million units for the region. The region's total retail sales value increased 21% over the same period in 2007, to just over USD 6.7 Billion. Vietnam, a country fighting double digit inflation and massive labor strikes, still managed to lead the way in both volume and value showing a 53% increase in retail PC units sold from 174,000 in first six months of 2007 to over 266, 000 from January to June 2008. Vietnam's PC retailers took in an additional 48% revenue in this sector with retail sales for the first part of 2008 of approximately USD 175 Million against approximately USD 120 million the same period in 2007. Singapore and Hong Kong also showed unprecedented increases in retail sales volumes for the first half of 2008 -- Singapore consumers purchased an additional 34% over the same period in 2007 and Hong Kong retail sales of PC's grew by 26% year-on-year.

Across Asia, desktops continue to hold the lion's share of volume with retail sales at nearly 4.75 million accounting for more than 55% of total PC sales in the first half of 2008. However, notebooks have narrowed the gap immensely, coming in with an unprecedented 4 Million notebook purchases, which is a 50% increase over units sold in Asia against the same time last year. This increase in retail sales meant that Asian consumers spent approximately USD 3.8 Billion on notebooks in the first half of 2008 alone, a 39% increase over the same period in 2007. GfK Asia forecasts that emergence of the netbook as a new segment into the portable PC market will close the gap to bring the total PC market to a 50/50 (desktop/notebook) scenario by year's end.

"Contrary to popular belief, desktop sales are not at a dead end. If we consider that there has been a negligible drop in the average price for the desktop for over 12 months -- for example, the average retail price of a Singapore desktop actually increased 3.3% from 2007 to 2008, in Hong Kong we saw a slight drop of just about 4%- yet retail sales figures remain solid with a total Asian market value of approximately USD 3 Billion in the last six months." Comments Gerard Tan, Commercial Director IT, GfK Asia. "If you lay the stable desktop prices against the falling notebook prices, in Singapore at almost -10% and Hong Kong at -13% between first 6 months 2007 and 2008, we can see why consumers are currently drawn to purchase notebooks leading to the increase in total volume. While notebooks do provide competition, it would be premature to count the desktop out."

During the first half of 2008, GfK Asia reports Vietnam had the greatest increases in retail volume and value for both desktops (Volume increase 38%, Value 31%) and, notebooks (Volume increase 109%, Value 81%) against the same period in 2007. Singapore retail figures showed surprising growth in both retail desktop sales with 28.6 thousand units sold which equals to a 22% increase over the first half of 2007. In Singapore, notebooks sold almost 4 times more than desktops in retail with just over 112 thousand units reported sold.

GfK Asia also reports a -2% drop in unit sales of stand alone monitors across Asia. The total market segment generated just over USD 312 Million in the first six months of 2008 with total retail unit sales nearing 1.4 Million, a 9% increase over the same period in 2007. Developing countries such as Indonesia and Malaysia buoyed up the total Asian figures with double digit growth in both volume and value while Singapore (Volume -32%, Value -28%) and Hong Kong (Volume -35%, Value -27%), home to a more technical savvy consumer, reported significant retail sales drops. This goes hand-in-hand with the increase in retail sales for notebooks in these two countries which explains the lack of drive to purchase stand alone monitors.

GfK Asia mid year retail figures show multifunctional printers are on the rise in Asia. With a 10% year-on-year increase in volume figures, multifunctional devices are gaining ground- taking 45% of the total printing market with sales of 1.7 million units in the first half of the year. However, single function printers still account for 55% of Asia's total printer market, and maintained a higher actual sales volume of just under 2.2 million. This represents a drop (-7) from last year's sales during the same time period. Thailand has reported the most significant increase in multifunctional printer adoption with an increase of 42% as compared to the first half of 2007. Approximately 600,000 units, accounting for almost 35% of all multifunctional printers purchased in Asia in the first 6 months of the year were purchased in Australia. "While the retail sales figures for single function printers remain strong, they do continue to decline slightly as multi functional devices capture consumer interest due to their convenience and value for money." Added Mr. Tan.

Editors notes:

-- Countries surveyed for PC, monitors and Single function printers include China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, and Australia.

-- Countries surveyed for multi functional devices are China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, and Australia.

Survey data available upon request.

Media Contact:

Lisa Williamson

Bryant Williamson Communications

Tel: +65-9100-4097

Specialized in: Gfk Asia - Asian It - Market Excelling - Global Economic Crisis
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