Hong Kong Consumers Indulge in Technological Gadgets

High performance smart phones, the introduction of tablets and advancement in operating systems (OS) have brought the digital age out of the home. These technologically advanced gadgets are especially welcomed in today’s fast paced society of Hong Kong where consumers live life at an accelerated rate and crave for such mobility that allow them to stay updated, connected and entertained anytime, anywhere.

According to GfK reports, it is evident that Hong Kong consumers are prepared to fork out money for technology they find useful in spite of rising cost of living. GfK Hong Kong retail tracking in the first six months of the year revealed over 1.7 million smart phones worth more than USD 735 million being sold—translating to a massive 68 percent growth over the same period last year.

“One of the propelling factors fuelling the growth of the smart phone industry is the heated battle of the operating systems,” said Mr. Walter Leung, General Manager of GfK Hong Kong. “The rapid development and improvements of the Android OS have brought about a significant increase in the number of brands and models launched on this platform. Enhanced performance as a result of regular hardware and software advancements have helped maintained smart phone’s average selling price at USD425.”

In the first half of 2010, there were only 22 smart phone models using the Android OS, accounting for only 11 percent unit share in the market. This year, the number of Android-driven smart phone models in the market has more than tripled to hit 80 and this has correspondingly raised its unit share to nearly 40 percent. This means two out of every five smart phones purchased is an Android model.

Another trendy tech device which has been received warmly by Hong Kongers as with the rest of the other major cities around the world is the tablet. Within the first six months of this year, consumers here spent close to USD 320 million on over 490,000 units of tablet sold at the average price of USD645.

“The tablet, with its sleeker form factor, is the perfect product to fit nicely into the 7 to 10 inch display segment previously occupied by netbooks, whose sales dipped by 50 percent in the first half of 2011 compared to the year before,” noted Mr. Leung. “Competition within the tablet 2 of 3 industry intensified in the second quarter of this year and sales propelled sharply after the launch of new tablets using the iOS4 and Android Honeycomb OS,” observed Mr. Leung.

Within the three months in quarter two, some 309,700 tablets worth over 200 million were sold, signifying a massive 67 percent jump over the previous quarter.

“The rapid expansion of the portable technology market is very much attributed to the availability of well-developed infrastructure in Hong Kong which greatly facilitates the usage of smart phones and tablets on the go,” highlighted Mr. Leung. “With over 9,000 Wi-Fi hotspots around the city and a very well developed 3G-3.5G network that allows for instant and fast connectivity, we can be sure that the industry will continue to grow at an exponential rate in the foreseeable future,” he concluded.