The consumer technology market in Asia Pacific (APAC) has grown tremendously over the past year, with the introduction of new technologies and advancements of existing technologies.
One innovative product that is gaining popularity in the market is the action camera. More brands (from 2 brands in 2015 to 13 brands in 2016) that offer 360-degree features have entered the market. In the last 12 months, emerging markets in APAC have been the key growth driver for such action cameras, registering 57% and 33% increase in sales volume and value respectively, while the region’s developed markets experienced a corresponding 9% and 40% growth last year.
Action cameras with 4K features are also selling well with sales accounting for 47% and 52% growth in volume and value respectively in APAC. Meanwhile, emerging markets in the region contributed up to 46% share of the pie in both volume and value terms.
“Nowadays, consumers are increasingly sharing videos, contributing to the rising popularity of action cameras,” said Gerard Tan, Senior Director, Technology at GfK Asia. “Besides one of its key draw factors of being able to connect seamlessly to today’s smartphones, action cameras also tend to appeal to active consumers who are seeking new and interesting ways to record their lifestyle activities to view or share in full HD quality.”
Another product which has jumped onto the 4K bandwagon is TVs. In the past year, 4K TVs, also known as Ultra High Definition (UHD), have been gaining traction as sales growth hit over 103% in units across APAC in the past 12 months, with the market upgrading the display resolutions from Full High Definition (FHD) to UHD. Demand is expected to continue to rise at a rate of 42% in 2017, with emerging economies projected to register higher growth (55%) due to the erosion of UHD prices.
“There is a rising uptake of 4K TVs as discerning consumers are increasingly choosing UHD TV technology due to its sleek design and better image quality,” observed Tan. “The popularity of UHD will subsequently create more opportunities for content studios to produce better image content, especially when more recording devices are beginning to support 4K recording, enabling more UHD content to be made readily available for consumers.”
Since the advent of the Smart TV in 2011, there have been ample opportunities for companies to develop TV software for its platforms. In the last 12 months, sales of Smart TVs in APAC continued to increase by 40% to reach over 5 million units.
One of the latest technologies available in the TV market is OLED TV—a TV display technology based on the characteristics of organic light-emitting diodes. According to GfK findings, OLED TV has been registering significant growth since its launch in APAC in 2014, growing in demand from 7,000 units in 2014 to 98,000 units in 2016. As more brands continue to come into the equation, the OLED TV market is projected to expand further by more than 63% in 2017, with huge growth anticipated from the developed markets in APAC.
Meanwhile, core wearables, comprising smart watches, and, health and fitness trackers, is yet another thriving category within the consumer electronics. Total sales units in the last year reached 3.3 million across developed APAC markets as consumer spending on the product category grew 9% year on year.
“Heart Rate Sensor and GPS are generally the key features that appeal to consumers looking to purchase a wearable device, and this is reflected in the significant increase in devices that provide these features. The sales of wearables with heart rate sensors rose by 28% within a year, while devices with inbuilt GPS almost doubled (98%) during the same time period,” said Tan.
With consumers embracing the digital lifestyle and using smart devices, the overall consumer technology market in APAC is expected to perform positively this year, with TVs, action cameras and wearables likely to experience further growth.
· APAC includes Singapore, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Myanmar, Cambodia, Australia and New Zealand
· GfK Point of Sales tracking period: May 2016 - April 2017 versus May 2015 - April 2016
· Value growth tracked based on local currency, but common currency for consolidated tracking based on USD.