Carl West runs off a slew of stats at Northamber's Tech Expo

GfK reveals top 6 growth areas as wearable tech sales double

Analyst GfK has revealed the top six growth areas within IT peripherals, including booming sales of tablet keyboards and media gateways.

The firm’s business group director Carl West provided an in-depth look at the current state of the UK PC and tech market at Northamber’s Tech Expo yesterday.

GfK identified media gateways – such as the Apple TV and Google Chromecast – as the top growth area, with year-on-year growth of 215 per cent.

Tablet keyboards and WiFi repeaters/range extenders were the next biggest growth areas with year-on-year growth of 107 per cent and 58 per cent respectively.

Tablet stylus pens are also enjoying year-on-year growth of 57 per cent, as are SSDs, while NAS (network attached storage) devices have generated year-on-year growth of 28 per cent.

West also said that sales of wearable tech devices like smartwatches have averaged 24,000 units per month over the past five months, while September is on track to sell 52,000 units, meaning monthly sales of such devices have more than doubled this year.

He also added that the connected home is an area of opportunity for the future.

"Businesses should not ignore wearable consumer tech – there could be a potential boom in the B2B space too," West said.

Overall, the UK IT market fell two per cent year-to-date (between January and July), with a total market value of £3.7 billion. 

The office products sector rose five per cent during the period with a market value of £1 billion, while telecommunications fell 5.5 per cent (£1.2 billion market value), photography dipped 12.9 per cent (£0.5 billion market value) and consumer electronics increased 12.5 per cent (with a market value of £2.8 billion).

Other sales stats included the following: 

  • Monitor sales are up five per cent in volume and 19 per cent in value (Jan to July 2014 versus the same period last year), driven by a growth in the gaming and business sectors
  • Monitors’ average selling price has increased by 13 per cent to £141
  • Software sales are up 38 per cent (sales units growth rate between Jan and July)
  • 18 per cent of notebooks sold in the retail channel were touchscreen enabled in Q2 2014, up from nine oer cent in Q2 2013
  • In Q2 2014, 42 per cent of all notebooks sold had 1TB storage, up from 23 per cent in the same period last year
  • The average selling price of notebooks is £435, down two per cent year-on-year
  • All in one (AIO) desktops had a 42 per cent retail channel volume growth rate in Q2 2014
  • 68 per cent of AIO screens are less than 22-inches in size, while 32 per cent are above 22-inches
  • The average selling price of an AIO desktop is £779, down six per cent year-on-year
  • More than 16m media tablets (with mobile OS) have been sold in UK retail market since May 2010, however tablet sales are now declining
  • The UK tablet retail market’s value is £246 million as of Q2 2014
  • 35 per cent of UK households have at least one tablet device, but 90 per cent of these tablets never leave the home
  • The average selling price of a media tablet is £211, down 15 per cent year-on-year
  • Business ink has seen a 19 per cent growth
  • Storage sales are up nine per cent, boosted by volume growth from NAS devices

"In the past 18 months there’s been a bit of doom and gloom," West said. "The market lost £1 billion but we’ve come back and are in a positive figure now. Consumers out there are now feeling a lot better about things.

"The general feel of spend at retail is starting to improve." 

West also revealed that the best day to market a product to an end consumer is on a Tuesday between 12 and 2pm, when most people are likely to be looking at new tech products.

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