GfK looks at how networking and storage solutions can generate margin

GfK: The wider implications of media tablet growth

As the volume growth for tablets slows down, Dominic Ashford, GfK Account Manager, looks at the growth and value of networking and storage solutions and how they can generate margin.

The IT market in GfK’s tracked Retail Channels declined by one per cent in value comparing August 2013 with August 2012. This decline is due to the fact that a 57 per cent volume growth for media tablets has not been enough to offset declines across other IT product groups. There are, however, other areas of IT showing growth which reflect the ways in which retailers, manufacturers and consumers can get value from this market.

Networking continues to be a positive area of IT. Communication devices has shown year-on-year growth in every month of 2013. One of the key segments driving this growth is Wi-Fi repeaters which saw volume growth of 125 per cent comparing August 2013 with August 2012. These are products which allow for Wi-Fi networks in the home to be extended or improved. It is unsurprising that this type of product is showing growth due to the fact that there are now many more wireless devices placing strain on consumers’ networks. Similarly, network attached storage grew by 20 per cent year-on-year as consumers have realised the benefits of having their own personal cloud storage for the home.

With media tablets showing the advantages of Flash-based memory, NAS is not the only success story within storage. Solid State Drives (SSDs) have grown in volume by 31 per cent comparing Jan-August 2013 with Jan-August 2012. The benefits SSDs offer to consumers as an upgrade are faster transmission of data and lower power consumption. Furthermore, average-selling prices are trending upward for this product group (13 per cent growth comparing the year-to-date periods) as end users see the advantages of this product and invest further in higher capacity drives. This trend indicates that SSDs offer advantages for distributors and retailers to generate margin.

What the examples of SSDs, networking and network attached storage show is that tablet growth presents an opportunity for IT beyond just the devices themselves.

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