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GfK: Smartphones To Hit 22% Of Global CE Sales

Nuremberg, Germany – Smartphones
will account for 22 percent of global consumer electronics dollar volume at
retail in 2012, up by 4 percentage points from 2011, according to

GfK Digital World


GfK’s definition of consumer
electronics includes cellphones, TVs, mobile and desk PCs, digital still cameras,
tablets and other devices.

The statistics also reflect an
upward revision in 2011 smartphone share to 18 percent from a

2011 forecast

of 16 percent.

The latest forecast, produced in
partnership with the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), also shows global
spending on consumer technology devices will surpass $1 trillion in 2012 for
the first time, rising 5 percent from 2011’s $993 billion.

In other findings, GfK concluded
that smartphones could be cutting into demand for low-end digital cameras but
could be stimulating demand for higher priced digital cameras.

Although smartphone cameras lack
such camera features as analog zoom, “in some instances they may cut out demand
for low-end cameras,” GfK said. Nonetheless, “at the same time, there is an
increasing demand for high-end cameras as consumers are becoming more
enthusiastic about photography. This trend could be driven by people using
camera functions on smartphones for the first time.”

As a result, sales of SLR and
compact cameras with interchangeable lenses grew globally by 17 percent in the
first nine months of 2011, outperforming the overall market for digital
cameras, GfK said. That growth, however, still pales in comparison to an 81
percent gain in smartphone unit volume.  In 2012, the company forecasts a 39 percent
gain in smartphone sales to about 600 million units.

The key advantage of smartphone
cameras is their Internet access, GfK said. “For uploading photos to social-networking
sites, direct internet access is a major selling point.” Smartphones “have a
large number of comparable features [to dedicated cameras], such as megapixels
and autofocus, but the ability to access the Internet is one of their main
advantages,” GfK continued.

For the first nine months of
2011, only 10 percent of digital cameras were equipped with Wi-Fi, but for
cellphones (including non-smartphones), the share was 24 percent, and for
smartphones alone, the share was 87 percent, GfK said.