ITC markets back to cruising speed / GfK survey on the Western European ITC markets in 2003

London/Nürnberg (ots) - The year 2003 was an outstanding one for technological developments in the IT and telecommunication (ITC) markets. The trend was towards products like notebooks, photo printers, mobile phones with camera function, laser printers and multi-function devices, with total sales of these items up by over 30 per cent on the previous year. By contrast, however, products using "old technology", such as tube monitors lingered on the shelves. As in the previous year, consumers showed again in 2003 a preference for user-friendly ITC products. The decisive criteria for purchasing decisions remain whether the product suits the purpose of the purchaser and whether it is easy to use. Consequently, the number of LCD monitors sold rose by 100 per cent by comparison with the previous year, with the number of multi-function units sold rising by 135 per cent. These products were sold by indirect channels, i.e. through sales outlets not linked to any particular manufacturer.

Sales trend for ITC products �... in 2003 compared with 2002

Multi-function devices+135 %
LCD monitors+100 %
Notebooks+30 %
Toner+29 %
Paper for ink jet printers+28 %
PDAs+27 %
Ink cartridges+15 %
Keyboards+14 %
Mobile phones+12 %
Laser printers+12 %
Multi-disc drives+6 %

Source: GfK Non Food Tracking; number of units sold

The total volume of the markets for individual ITC hardware units and consumables in Western Europe has been estimated at around EUR 67.8 billion for 2003. However, despite the high number of sales, huge discounts produced a drop of three per cent by comparison with the previous year in value. This effect resulted mainly from the fierce price wars in the PC market.