$19.4 billion spent on consumer tech in 2009

GfK TEMAX index shows solid results for the retail tech sector at the end of last year

Australian consumers spent $19.4 billion on consumer tech in 2009. Image Credit: GfK TEMAX index

Australian consumers spent $19.4 billion on consumer tech in 2009. Image Credit: GfK TEMAX index

Consumer spending on technology goods surpassed the $19 billion mark in 2009, according to the GfK TEMAX index.

The $19.4 billion result was an increase of 7.1 per cent on 2008 and was driven by strong notebook and panel TV sales.

Despite overall retail sales falling by 0.7 per cent in December according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), the technology goods sector remained strong across the last three months of the year.

The GfK TEMAX index shows a rise of four per cent in the October to December period over the same period in 2008.

Notebook PCs sales rocketed to a 20 per cent rise in the fourth quarter of 2009 over the same period the previous year to achieve a 12-month increase of 24 per cent year on year.

"The launch of Windows 7 at the start of the quarter, together with reduced average prices and the growing demand for all things digital, were major contributors to this upward trend," the analyst firm said in a release. "Leading retailers helped to promote this push by opening stores at midnight on the day of launch.

"Competitive retail promotions resulted in the overall notebook average sales price dropping to under $1000 dollars for the first time in Australia."

Panel TV sales rose by 17 per cent during October to December over the same period in 2008, while set top boxes jumped by 76 per cent.

GfK also noted "more than 75,000 Blu-ray home theatre systems, DVD recorders, games consoles and bonus TVs were given away during quarter 4, 2009".

Notably, the mobile phone sector suffered an eight per cent drop in the last three months of 2009 compared to the same quarter in 2008. This was caused by a poor showing in the prepaid mobile handset market. The continued strong performance of high-end smartphones sold on a contractual basis – 51 per cent of all handset sales for the year – was not enough to prevent a decline.

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