Oscar Diamond, account executive of GfK’s IT panel, discusses how the popularity for seven-inch tablets is driving the decline of the devices’ value in the marketplace…
Total Retail IT was down in volume and value by 3.4 per cent and 8.3 per cent respectively year-on-year in September. The value decline is a product of lower average selling prices (ASP) for tablets.
The tablet market continued to grow in September year-on-year, with units sold up by 20.9 per cent, but ASP dropped by 25.8 per cent, resulting in sales value declining 10.3 per cent.
Tablet volume growth continues as the sector continues to grow, however the increasing popularity of smaller seven-inch tablets over the more expensive 10-inch models is driving the value decline.
Meanwhile, desktop computers, which have been down for the previous 12 months, grew compared to September last year, driven by strong growth in the all-in-one (AIO) market.
AIOs are desktop computer products where the screen and the computer are both contained in one unit.
AIOs grew by 27.4 per cent in sales value while conventional desktops’ value fell 5.5 per cent. The ASP of AIOs also increased by 6.5 per cent, indicating that consumers are willing to pay more for extra features, such as screen size, form factor and components.
The strong performance of AIOs comes off of the back of a price drop for large touch screen panels for manufacturers.
This trend of premium growth was also seen in monitors. Monitors saw growth, despite the rise in mobile devices and AIOs – sales volume and value increased by 23.4 per cent and 17.6 per cent respectively, while ASP increased by 4.9 per cent.
The affordability of features such as higher resolutions, wider viewing angles and In-Plane Switching (IPS) panels has led to consumers deciding to invest in higher-end monitors, whereas before these features were too expensive.
Multi-monitor setups are also increasing in popularity, and are growing the market.
The storage market grew by 7.1 per cent in volume but shrunk by 1.4 per cent in value. All declines for this market came from external hard drives (which make up 59.7 per cent of the value of the market).
SSD and NAS had value growth of 68.3 per cent and 13.2 per cent respectively, despite no increase in ASP. SSD growth is a result of people choosing to upgrade from HDDs due to the big improvements in load times.
The increase of NAS is linked to tablet growth, as most tablets cannot directly connect to an external hard drive, but can connect to NAS.
The strong growth in premium monitors and AIOs was not enough to offset the decline in ASP for tablets, but it is a reminder that other areas of IT have potential for growth.
It will be interesting to see if tablet sales value will return to year-on-year growth next month as the decline is driven by market movements and not decline.