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GFK Responds To JB Hi-Fi Dumping As Market Goes Soft

This week JB Hi-Fi reported record sales and profits as well as the appointment of Terry Smart as its new CEO. 
Smart claims that it is “business as usual” and that GFK will not be allowed back in the door to collect data. According to Lamb, the matter is delicate and no statements will be made to the media.
“It is between our customers and GFK, and not the media,” he said. 
A research study of over 20 vendors by ChannelNews reveals that the bulk (70 per cent) of vendors who use GFK data are concerned that JB Hi-Fi data will be excluded from future data collection in Australia.
59 per cent said that GFK should consider lowering their fees. 
Earlier GFK said that certain categories in the consumer electronics market are in decline, including digital cameras, navigation devices and media players. 
A GFK researcher said, “It would appear that we are at the end of a cycle of innovation which had brought a multitude of new technologies; particularly Portable Navigation Devices (-15 per cent in 2009 compared to 2008 in value), Multimedia Players (-11 per cent) and Digital Cameras (-11 per cent)”.
GFK has also said that after several years of constant growth, the global electronic goods market will decline by over 2 per cent.
The research company claims that growth in value terms centres around four markets: LCD TVs, Laptops, HD DVD players (Blu-ray) and smartphones. 
GFK also said that the total mobile phone market is in decline; a forecasted global market of just over 1.1 billion will see a year-on-year decline for the first time ever as volume contracts by around 5 per cent. 
GFK forecasts that the market will return to growth by Q2 2010, although an annualised growth for the whole of 2010 is unlikely.
In a new report, the European research company claims that growth is evident at both the top and bottom ends of the device market as the market has become increasingly polarised. “On one hand, there is the demand for cheaper prepay phones or short-term contracts. Consumers who use their handsets purely for communicating by phone or text favour slim-line functional mobiles.
“On the other, there is consumer demand for a more sophisticated handset (as seen with the shift towards 3G). Open Operating Systems, touchscreen facilities and high speed up and downloading capabilities are becoming increasingly popular,” the report says. 
Smartphones now account for 11 per cent of the global mobile phones market; a 2 per cent increase over last year, which GFK says is a phenomenal achievement. 
GFK claims that 2009 has been the year of the touchscreen, with some markets like Australia growing by up to 14 per cent, and that touchscreen phones generate three times more downloading, streaming and browsing than all other devices. In addition, 3G phones account for over 85 per cent of all traffic. Contract customers account for 91 per cent of downloads, although prepay is growing faster.
The Internet as a method of purchase is also on the up, mirroring the trends in other consumer technology markets.