Asian TV buyers still active

Southeast Asia TV set buyers helped boost sales of LCD displays by almost 30  per cent says market research specialists GfK.  The TV market in Southeast Asia expanded in the first six months of 2011 compared to the same period last year, with consumers in Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam having spent over $2.1 billion on 6.33 million units of TV.

This reflects an overall industry growth of 16 and 11  per cent respectively in value and volume terms, according to global leading market research company GfK Asia.

GfK tracks the performance of all segments of TV which include LCD, Plasma and CRT TVs, and the latest retail audit report reflects continuing demand for LCD TVs which achieved nearly 30  per cent more in value sales over the first half of 2010, making it the key driver of the overall TV industry across the Southeast Asia region.

“The TV industry is a vibrant one—innovating and evolving constantly and always presenting consumers with new upgrading options; be it the latest technology or fresh new features,” commented Ms Jasmine Lim, Regional Account Director for Consumer Electronics at GfK Asia.

“We are generally seeing an upward growth trending across Southeast Asian markets, particularly in Indonesia and Vietnam, where the value of the TV market has registered healthy double digit growth in the first six months of this year, when compared to the same period last year.”

Findings showed that Indonesia grew 46 and 31  per cent in value and volume terms, attributed to the prevalent consumer trend of upgrading from the traditional CRT TV to the newer flat-panel LCD TV. While CRT TV in the first half of 2010 accounted for 43  per cent of overall TV value sales, the proportion had dropped substantially by 13  per cent this year.

This switchover trend is also apparent in the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam, although CRT TV sales, despite declining, today continue to occupy over a third of each countries’ volume share of TV sales.

“These developing countries present wealth of opportunities for TV manufacturers of the latest technologies who are seeking to penetrate further into this region,” highlighted Ms. Lim. “On the other hand, in Southeast Asia’s only developed market, Singapore, retailers have completely phased out selling CRT TV and we see a significantly higher proportion of sales derived from plasma TVs and LCD TVs, both with and without LED backlight.”

Smart TV or TVs with web content access is one of the most recent TV technologies which is gaining acceptance in the region, says GfK.  In Southeast Asia, sales of Smart TV have been increasing steadily in the first two quarters of the year with unit sales in quarter two growing by 20  per cent over the previous quarter. Overall take up rate of Smart TV by consumers here in the first six months of the year is 24 out of every 100 TV units sold. In terms of level of acceptance on a country level, Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia are leading with Smart TV unit take-up rates of 20 per cent.

“Smart TV is relatively new to SEA consumers, and its future success is directly dependent on the Internet penetration rate and Internet speed of each individual market, which explains why Singapore, with its high Internet penetration rate, is currently leading the region in Smart TV adoption level,” said Ms Lim.

“Moreover, with the newness of the technology, there’s still much untapped potential and unexplored opportunities – we can expect to see Smart TV continuing to evolved and improve considerably in the near future,” she concluded.

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