Aussies spend up on digital tech

Australians are on track to spend a record five billion dollars on digital devices by the end of 2007, according to recent research for the Canon Digital Lifestyle Index. Sales figures for January-June of this year showed Aussies have already spent more than $A2 billion -- the highest figure ever for this period. The July-December retail period, which includes Christmas and the end-of-year sales, traditionally outperforms the first-half by several hundred million dollars.

The CDLI research was commissioned by Canon and delivered by GfK Marketing Services. "Assuming economic conditions remain favourable, we expect that digital spending by Australians will exceed $A5 billion by the end of 2007," said Stuart Poignand, marketing manager for Canon's Consumer Imaging Products Group.

"Having already spent $A2 billion in the first half of the year, and coupled with the second half trends we've seen over the last four years that take into account the Christmas period, we anticipate this year will produce the highest consumer spending on digital technology that we have ever seen."

Product categories showing growth in the latest report included digital media players, game consoles, digital still cameras, and multi-function devices. Categories in decline included DVD players, digital video cameras, inkjet printers, and photo printers.

The survey attributed most of the growth in 2007 to Australia's increasing infatuation with flat-panel televisions, which accounted for more than half (52 per cent) of all spending on the surveyed product categories. LCD TVs outstripped plasmas in the race for sales dominance, making up a third of sales value (32 per cent). GfK attributed this dominance in part to the wider range of screen sizes available for LCD TVs, and the subsequent replacement by LCD TVs of many of Australia's previously analogue television households.

Len Rust is publisher of The Rust Report

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