According to GfK, the global consumer electronics market (excluding North America) achieved sales growth of 42.8 billion dollar in the first half of 2021, recording an increase of 18%. This trend has been continuing since the last year, prompted by lockdowns and a greater focus on entertainment at home. Consumers continue to place value on premium and better-quality equipment. Working from home, meanwhile, is driving the demand for headphones and mobile stereo headsets.
«The upward trend in the demand for consumer electronics is continuing apace in 2021 – commented Jan Lorbach, GfK expert in Consumer Electronics -. In particular, this is fueled by the strong demand for devices with better features. That said, retailers and the wider industry will have to be prepared for demand to stagnate in the second half of the year if pandemic-related restrictions are relaxed or not reintroduced. At this point, vacations and other leisure activities will take up a greater proportion of household budgets, which will mean less money spent elsewhere, especially on consumer electronics.»
Analysing the segments, Gfk underlined that the global TV market excluding North America achieved sales of 33 billion dollar from January to June 2021, recording a growth of 18% compared to the same period in 2020, which included the first lockdown. The growth drivers continue to be larger displays and more expensive devices with better features
The trend toward premium products is also evident in sales of peripheral devices such as soundbars with Dolby Atmos/DTS:X functionality. Global sales of such devices have more than doubled, to 311 million dollar, compared to the first half of 2020. By contrast, devices without this functionality saw growth of 7% in the period from January to June 2021 but are still slightly above the pre-pandemic level.
Finally, headphones and mobile stereo headsets in the first half of 2021 rose by 26% percent to a total of 6.6 billion dollar. In particular headphones without any wires or cables saw an above-average 40% increase in sales to 4.5 billion dollar.