Sony to lead digital home drive: IDC

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Sony is likely to stay ahead of the pack in a 'digital home' market tipped by IDC as the next haven for IT hardware growth in Australia.

Sony is likely to stay ahead of the pack in a “digital home” market tipped by IDC as the next haven for IT hardware growth in Australia.

A recent report by market researcher IDC, From the Den to the Living Room, argued that the growth in home networking products was attracting diverse end-users. While business IT sales growth had remained “somewhat stagnant” in percentage terms, the consumer market looked “decidedly promising”, IDC said in a media statement.

“In summary, IDC sees the digital home market for hardware devices as the next haven for growth in Australia,” it said.

Vendors would need a “clear-cut” message, the right product range and market approach -- including a valid channel strategy -- to win. With that in mind, a company such as Sony which had consumer marketing experience and brand equity was tipped most likely to succeed.

“Sony is one of the few vendors in the market that can boast a full solution for the consumer, rather than select products that make up pieces of a digital home,” IDC said.

Brand equity in the digital home market carries greater weight than in the IT channel, since consumers typically associate well-known vendor brands with quality, style and reliability.

On the other hand, companies such as IBM appeared to be relying on their business reputations to extend into the consumer market. This strategy was not as likely to succeed, IDC said.

“Most of their products designed for the consumer seem to be an extension of this range with some minor changes in specifications and pricing to meet consumer demand,” it said.

IDC named Apple, Samsung and HP as three other companies likely to succeed in the digital home space.

HP had entered the market as a matter of necessity but was expected to be able to use its reputation in printing and PC hardware to good effect.

Apple was singled out for what IDC called a “unique and truly different” approach. “Overall, the product offering from Apple is somewhat limited for the digital home, but what is offered is very compelling and expected to grow as the market matures,” IDC said.

Samsung, like Sony, had developed a product portfolio, channel strategy and market approach specifically for the digital home market.

“They are currently the best-positioned vendors in this space and most adept at gaining share and driving the market forwards,” IDC said.

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