Asia stocks up on high-tech gadgets

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Asia stocks up on high-tech gadgets

Digital content and cheaper chips driving market.

Consumer electronics sales in Asia are booming, according to new market data from research firm GfK Asia. 

As prices fall, and disposable incomes rise, even shoppers in the region's poorer nations are beginning to snap up sophisticated gadgets that would have been unaffordable just a few years ago.

"The digital portable video player segment did not exist two years ago," said GfK analyst Steven Kaiser.

"Today, video playback is a feature on nearly one-third of all players sold in the Asian region. Such is the pace of technology."

Some 22 per cent of the 23 million DVD players sold in Asia during 2006 had recording capabilities, and the a market is now worth $500m, GfK reported.

This market is expected to continue to grow, driven by cheaper memory chips and more downloadable digital content.

"We expect that memory prices will continue to drop and video content will become even more accessible, positioning digital portable video players as the likely successor to portable video disc players in the marketplace," said Kaiser.

Sales of displays are also growing. "The future is certainly bright for LCD screens in Asia," said Kaiser. "We expect that LCD televisions will continue a strong advance in 2007, and see a regional growth rate of 72 per cent for volume in the year ahead."

China's retailers reported sales of more than four million LCD televisions last year, and the number is expected to double this year, according to GfK. More than 50 million TVs of all kinds were sold in the Asia-Pacific region's key markets.

GfK based its calculations of market size on sales data collected from significant markets in the Asia-Pacific region, including China, Australia, South Korea, Indonesia and The Philippines. The survey did not include Japan or India.

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