No Clear Winner Among Consumer Electronic Devices During the Olympics
By Raymond Foo, Asian Editor, EMSNow
Aug 01, 2012
Major international sporting events usually boost global TV sales and they don't come much bigger than the Olympics.
Four years ago, the China Center for Information Development (CCID) reported that the Beijing Olympics boosted sales of flat-panel TVs to over 6 million units in China in the first half of 2008, up more than 80 percent from the
previous year. The consulting company said flat-panel TV sales had gained more than 30 percent of the country's colour TV market.
Now four years later, some surveys are showing that more consumers plan to buy electronic products to watch London 2012 compared with Beijing 2008. Twice.com found that a higher percentage of consumers plan to buy a new TV, laptop, tablet or smartphone to watch this year's London games compared to the 2008 Beijing games, with a majority saying they would watch the games on TV.
Depending on which part of the world you come from or where you are staying at, these 'facts' may or may not ring true. News out of Japan reported that the sales boom Japanese companies were hoping the London 2012 Olympic Games would create did not materialize. Less than half a million TVs were sold in Japan in June and Japanese business daily The Nikkei says manufacturers there don't expect European sales to boost the numbers.
Already, demand for panels have shown that there's little chance of a late boom in sales during the early stages of the London games. Panels are typically supplied into the manufacturing process largely by Korean and Taiwanese companies two to three months before the products are due to hit retailers in Europe, and there simply hasn't been that surge in shipments, the Japanese news agency reported.
Many TV manufacturers have moved on, and are already looking to the year-end holidays - traditionally the height of the shopping season. But with the slowing global economy showing no signs of picking up, the mood is cautiously optimistic at best.
Recent news from Korea paints a very different picture with reports of rising TV sales from electronics retailers in Korea, the Middle East and Europe. Korean companies Samsung and LG are leading the world in both developing and producing flat screen TVs. In 2011 Samsung and LG held the largest global market shares respectively, followed by Japanese companies Sony, Panasonic and Sharp. Reports there say TV sales are expected to rise 15 percent during the Olympic Games in the gulf region, according to Samsung and rival TV maker Sony. Retailers in Europe and the United States are also reportedly confirming this upward trend.
Overall, these reports do not lead to any firm conclusion and show that statistics can always be tailored to show an uptrend or downtrend. My general feeling during these Olympic Games is that demand for TVs is not as strong as it was four years ago. This could be attributed to the increasing popularity and proliferation of other connected devices such as tablets and smartphones, as well as people's changing lifestyle choices. Added to this, of course, is the current state of the global economy, which is more conducive to saving instead spending.