GfK’s Robyn Tovey talks about the rise of peripherals and the revival of desktops throughout May.
After a slight value decline in April, the IT retail market remained relatively flat in May with the market value declining by 0.2 per cent in comparison to May 2013.
While certain IT hardware categories such as media tablets, e-readers and notebooks experienced year on year value declines in May, there were a number of IT peripheral categories that lifted the market value back; those peripherals include keyboards, monitors and webcams.
Keyboards grew year on year by 11 per cent and 28 per cent in volume and value respectively this May. As expected, it is the tablet keyboards that are adding value to the market with year on year growth rates reaching 79 per cent in volume and 102 per cent in value. However, traditional computer keyboards also experienced a slight growth of seven per cent, which coincides with the continuing growth of desktops.
The premium end of the monitors market has continued to grow in May. While sales volume declined by one per cent, the value of the monitors market this May exceeded that of the value in May 2013 by 17 per cent. The value growth is indicative of a shift towards higher screen sizes and higher resolution.
Visual cams, which encapsulate webcams and various other video recording devices, grew year on year in value this May by 61 per cent. However, the overall sales volume of visual cams declined by two per cent. The lion’s share of growth within this category has come from dashboard cams. The explosive growth of this segment has been driven by the incentives offered by motor insurance companies, as well as an overall desire to document driving incidents.
The IT hardware categories have experienced tougher times in May as media tablets, the main growth area for 2013, continued to decline in value for the 4th consecutive month. However, the volume of the media tablet market has returned to a slight year on year growth of 0.2 per cent after experiencing the first volume declines since conception in March and April 2014.
E-readers are another hardware category that struggled in May, with volume declines exceeding value declines at 36.1 per cent to 20.9 per cent. Promotional activity spurred the market back into volume growth in January. However, a return to non-promotional pricing has pushed the market back into decline; the strongest year on year volume declines we have seen since August 2013.
Notebooks also continued their gradual value decline by eight per cent May 2014 vs. May 2013. The continuing success of the more mobile computing form factors such as computing tablets and mediabooks (netbooks) has had an effect on the traditional notebook.
Desktops on the other hand are currently experiencing a revival as PC gaming drives the more premium end of the market.