Australians spend $6.8 billion on digital devices

Australians spend $6.8 billion on digital devices

Saturday, May 28th, 2011

AUSTRALIA’S love affair with technology continues unabated as consumers splashed out a whopping $6.8 billion on digital devices in 2010.

The near-record spending bought more than 15 million gadgets, according to the Canon Digital Lifestyle Index released today, ignoring a series of interest rate rises to fall just short of 2009′s spending total.

Digital cameras, iPods, big-screen televisions and games consoles led the spree, while document and photo printers proved the least popular.

But the news was not all good for manufacturers. Prices for technological items fell rapidly in the last half of 2010, leading to “unprecedented levels of technology affordability,” the report said, and an average price drop of 13 per cent.

Big-screen TVs, computers and TV recorders experienced some of the biggest dollar reductions, while the cost of games consoles also fell significantly (21 per cent) during the last six months of the year.

Canon Australia consumer imaging director Jason McLean said price falls were due to fierce competition.
Price falls were in turn encouraging more consumers to invest in technology, slashing the time between gadget upgrades.

“If you look at digital cameras, 26 per cent of owners are upgrading within two years and also 44 per cent of PC users,” Mr McLean said.

“There’s also the trend of multiple product ownership and how people are complementing their digital portfolio with more devices.”

The report, prepared by research firm GfK Retail and Technology Australia, also found digital technology had become “so entrenched” in the Australian lifestyle it had become part of our culture.

Digital cameras and PCs were estimated to be part of more than 80 per cent of Australian homes.

Computers are used more than watching DVDs or TV, and digital cameras have led to a rise in the number of photos taken in each household, up to more than 100 every month.

BIGGEST SELLERS

1 Digital still cameras 1.6 million
2 Digital media players 1.4 million
3 LCD TVs 1.2 million
4 Games consoles 1 million
5 Personal computers 883,000
BIGGEST DISCOUNTS
1 Plasma TVs $467
2 LCD TVs $365
3 Personal computers $186
4 Personal video recorders $159
5 Digital camcorders $94
Source: Canon Digital Lifestyle Index, 2H 2010