Port Washington, N.Y.
In a possible sign
of softening economic pressure for consumer electronics devices, consumers
continued to snap up flat-panel TVs, Blu-ray Disc players, netbooks, e-readers,
GPS devices and digital cameras from a year ago, according The
2010 Consumer Technology Household Online Penetration Study.
The study polled more than 2,400
respondents from NPD’s proprietary opt-in online consumer panel in mid-April
2010, in order to assess household penetration rates for CE devices.
In the home, flat-panel TVs grew slightly to 64 percent, up from
61 percent in 2009, while the percentage of households with two or more
flat-panel televisions remained flat, NPD said.
The broadening penetration of HDTV coupled with lower player
prices, however, proved to be a boon for stand-alone Blu-ray players, which
nearly doubled since last year, going from just 6 percent in 2009 to 11 percent
in 2010. The survey indicated that deep discounting during the 2009 holiday
season was a key factor for the increase.
While the PC market continued to be driven by replacement with
overall notebook penetration remaining flat, netbook penetration nearly doubled,
moving from 4 percent in 2009 to 8 percent in 2010. PC sales were driven in
part by the release of new operating systems from Microsoft and Apple, NPD said.
“Consumers are flocking to products that offer slim profiles and
access to digital content,” stated Ross Rubin, NDP industry analysis executive
director. “Devices such as Blu-ray players, netbooks and e-readers are being
used to enable rich, connected experiences.”
E-readers, including Amazon’s Kindle and Sony’s Reader, continued
to be among the CE high points coming off of the 2009 holiday season, with
household penetration reaching 5 percent.
Flash-memory-based camcorders saw household penetration jump from
5 percent last year to 10 percent, as consumers were attracted to declining
prices and better recording quality. NPD said the category still has plenty of
room for growth in the coming years.
The market research firm said certain consumer segments are
driving that penetration rate faster than others, as households with children
had a 13 percent penetration rate vs. 9 percent of those without children.
Portable navigation devices are now found in nearly 40 percent of
households, up from 30 percent in 2009, NPD said. Low average prices,
data-plan-free usage and simplicity of use have helped the category hold up
against competition from cellphones.
Compact digital cameras have plateaued at 73 percent, the survey
found, but more and more homes are adding two or more cameras. Households with
two or more cameras rose from 22 percent in 2009 to 25 percent in 2010, NPD
said. However, those who had funds to spend were able to invest in more
creative imaging devices.
For example, d-SLRs, at 11 percent household penetration, didn’t
see an overall increase in household penetration, but penetration rose from 18
percent in 2009 to 22 percent among more affluent households.