Robyn Tovey takes a look at the impact tablet sales had on the IT market in Q1

GfK: Tablets stay on the rise

Robyn Tovey, account executive at GfK takes a look at what boosted growth in Q1…

The total retail IT market, as tracked by GfK, displayed a year on year volume and value growth of seven per cent and 12 per cent respectively in February 2013.

However, since so much has been written about media tablets in the past two years, we thought it would be interesting to see where the IT market would be without the support of this ever-popular form factor. Omitting media tablet sales, the IT market actually declined by six per cent in volume and by 13 per cent in value.

One area of the market which is contributing to this decline is the peripherals categories, which are: mice, keyboards and webcams.

Mice saw a value decline of 24 per cent year-on-year in February 2013, whereas webcams declined by 43 per cent in value. Keyboards on the other hand are in growth by 19 per cent in value when comparing February 2012’s figures to February 2013’s. More specifically, it is the wireless segment of the keyboard market that is driving growth, with this segment boasting 30 per cent value growth year-on-year.

Wireless mice are not experiencing similar growth rates with year on year volume and value declines reaching 36 per cent and 30 per cent respectively in February. While wireless keyboards facilitate content creation on tablet devices, mice and webcams do not offer much added practicality to tablet users, hence their modest growth figures.

Given the reverberating affect media tablets are having on the rest of the IT market, it would be remiss not to report on how this product group is performing post-Christmas.

It comes as no surprise that media tablet sales have continued their growth, with year on year volume and value growth reaching 234 per cent and 145 per cent respectively in February 2013.

“Omitting media tablet sales, the IT market actually declined by six per cent in volume and by 13 per cent in value”

Robyn Tovey, GfK

Interestingly, the trend towards smaller tablet devices that was touted to be a result of their gifting appropriate price points has continued into 2013.

Seven-inch media tablets now constitute 62 per cent of all tablet sales in February 2013. As a result, we can now see 54 per cent more brands selling devices within this segment of the media tablet market year on year in February 2013.

The other area driving IT market growth is storage, or more particularly, solid state drives (SSD). After gradually dropping in average selling price by ten per cent over the past 12 months, SSD volume sales volume has grown by 124 per cent in February 2013 when compared to the corresponding month of 2012. Even though the average selling price has fallen on these devices, the SSD market value has still risen by 101 per cent year-on-year.

Pricing is not unilateral in driving SSD growth however; we have seen strides been made in flash memory technology over the past few years. Furthermore, the consummate performance increase that upgrading to an SSD offers is second to none.

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