PC, cellphone sales expected to plunge this year

2011-01-10 11:02

Sales of personal computers and cellphones are expected to decline worldwide this year, according to a survey.

Computer purchases would decline by 39% and cellphones would decline by 56% compared with last year, global managing consulting company Accenture said today.

However, sales of 3D televisions were expected to rise 500%, tablet computers 160%, e-book readers 133% and smartphones 26%, the company said.

The annual survey focused on use of and spending on 19 different consumer electronics technologies among more than 8 000 consumers in eight countries: Brazil, China, India, Russia, France, Germany, Japan and the United States.

Senior executive at Accenture’s electronics and hi-tech practice in South Africa, Mark Joseph, said: “The research findings raise the question as to whether, in the long run, desktop and laptop PCs in the home will be increasingly replaced by a group of newer technology alternatives such as tablet computers, netbooks, smartphones and e-book readers.”

The survey found only 17% of survey respondents planned to buy a desktop or laptop computer in 2011, a 39% drop from 2010.

According to the survey, respondents were using multiple devices such as tablet computers for activities that used to be done on traditional computers.

The research found ownership of basic cellphones dropped from 79% in 2009 to 65% in 2010. In the same period, ownership of smartphones quadrupled from 8% to 32%.

In the survey, cellphones were described as having basic voice capability, but not the enhanced features available on smartphones, such as internet access.

Referring to 3D TVs, Accenture said as consumer electronics companies considered ways to increase demand for the devices, price emerged as the biggest lever for driving greater interest in this new technology.

Among respondents in all eight countries surveyed, the Chinese were the most enthusiastic purchasers and users of the latest technologies.

More than half (53%) of Chinese respondents currently owned a smartphone, versus one-third of US respondents.

Smartphones were predicted to be the most purchased device in China in 2011, with 38% of those surveyed planning to buy one.

The survey was conducted in October and November 2010.

The annual research began as a US study in 2008 and grew to a global study in 2010.

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