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Day 6 - IFA International

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Market & Technology Trends Powered By Innovation GfK expects a stronger second half to the year IFA is always a good indication of how industry business will go in Q4. If we judged our business prospects by the upbeat mood at this Berlin show, then we would certainly predict that business is set to improve. By Bob Snyder That would only confirm what market researcher Gfk Retail and Technology had already predicted, before IFA started, that a “perceptible recovery” would occur in the second half of 2011. GfK points to a number of innovations that will drive our growth — and looking around IFA you can confirm this for yourself. HD TV, 3D TV and connected TV will join Blu-ray, HD camcorders, audio home systems with MP3 docking stations, Internet access, portable navigation devices (with 5-inch displays) and major and small appliances in driving growth. For example, GfK believes 3D TV — including LCD-TV and plasma TV, active and passive — will rise in Europe from 1 million units in 2010 to 6.4 million this year and then to an impressive 17.7 million next year. And almost every main product brings along a wave of accessories. 3D TV (except the glassesfree models shown at IFA this year) can offer an average sale of more than one pair, if German consumers are an example, reports GfK. But let’s review the highlights of GfK’s first-half report: TV Western European countries are seeing the sales share of TV sets in CE continuing to rise. The figure now stands at 73%, which may not be as good as last year’s World Cup year, but large-screen models — 32 inch is the most popular, but the trend is upward — LED TV and 3D TVs (we already mentioned the six-fold growth) show promising sales. Consumers are spending less so prices have gone down, but product features advance. DVD/Blu-ray Traditional DVD is about as popular as last year’s wall calendars but HD sells. Blu- Ray is up 20%, with about 1.5 million units in Western Europe. Home auDio Sound bars are moving up, accompanying the sales of large-screen LED TVs. Home-theatre systems increased their volume of sales share to 37%. Devices with integrated Blu-ray showed a sales increase of 46%. Ones with Internet radio integrated saw 40% growth. And MP3 docking now generates 20% of this category’s sales. iT GfK is perhaps trying to be kind by saying “the European IT market is becoming more complex”. Yet the consumer IT business is accustomed to the cycle of constant reinvention. As tablets and cloud computing break paradigms, manufacturers reinvent themselves to fit into new market conditions. Expect only single-digit growth this year and next. Meanwhile, GfK calls the future for tablets “bright” and expects higher growth rates. And the German research firm takes care to point out that, in its opinion, consumers buy tablet PCs in addition to existing IT. As much as the blogging press creates the myth that tablets are killing the PC and netbook business, GfK adds its voice to the many researches that insist: “There is no cannibalisation of mobile computers by tablet devices, and none is expected in the medium term.” Let’s end the urban myth that tries to convince us otherwise. moBile communicaTions: Europe is up just 4%, but up is up. Smartphones rocket forward with 79% growth and here you can indeed see cannibalisation of the humble feature phone. Like Cro-Magnons, feature phones will give way to a smarter species. appliances: Major appliances markets, according to GfK, are once again showing positive growth in Europe, particularly in Eastern Europe. In small appliances, Western Europe is up 5%, with Eastern Europe showing an impressive 25% half-year growth. “3D TV will rise in Europe from 1 million units in 2010 to 6.4 million this year and then to an impressive 17.7 million next year” Grosser Stern VIP Room 2 www.ifa-international.org IFA International • Wednesday 7 th September 2011 23

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