Consumer electronics sales: innovative solutions drive the growth

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In the Western Europe market, revenues for the consumer electronics products in the first half of 2014 remained similar to the ones of the same period of 2013, recording a growth of 0.4%. According to the data communicated by GfK, in the TVs segment new technologies such as Ultra HD, curved UHD, OLED as well as the further development of smart TVs gave the market vitality. In particular, sales of UHD TVs gained clear momentum in the six major Western European markets (France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Spain and UK), registering sales of nearly 122,000 sets in the first half of 2014. Another growth driver was the World Cup in Brazil. Besides, the market in Western Europe for LCD TVs experienced significant positive developments, having a growth of 6.7% in the first half of 2014 in comparison to the same period in the previous year. In addition – GfK explains – TVs with larger screens continued to be one of the principal growth drivers. Sets with screens of more than 42 inches made up 44% of sales in the first half of 2014. The trend for sizes of 60 inches plus continued, with unit sales increasing by 66% in this segment.
As regard to the audio market, sound bars have been much in demand in 2014, as demonstrated by the fact that demand in Western European between January and June 2014 has more than doubled year-on-year. An increase of revenue of around 63% was registered in the first half of 2014. Furthermore, the increased popularity of audio streaming has also had an impact on the sound bars market because consumers do not just use them to listen to TV programs. Bluetooth technology may have a particular role to play in this regard, as it enables a quick and easy connection with smartphones and tablets. The interest in such devices is reflected by heightened demand: in the first half of 2014, 70% of all sound bars sold were already equipped with Bluetooth streaming capabilities. Audio streaming also represents a dynamic component of the market for stereo systems. Home audio systems that can be connected to the internet have generated revenue of over € 30 million in the first half of the year. Within the connected home audio system segment, Bluetooth has also been subject to increased popularity. Systems with Bluetooth transfer capability already accounted for a share of 81%. Finally, also the multiroom systems performed well: sales increased by 120% in the first half of 2014 (units).