Most categories within consumer electronics in Hong Kong continued to experience declining retail volume sales in 2019, with the exception of newer entries to the market such as smart wearables, OLED TVs and wireless speakers. These products offer local consumers greater innovation and functionality which they are willing to pay a higher price for in most cases.
The pricing of consumer electronics in Hong Kong is experiencing increasing polarisation with affluent consumers moving more towards the premium segment that can offer them greater functionality, while low- to mid-income consumers are choosing the economy segment as they believe that the functionality of mid-tier products is filtering down to more affordable devices, leaving sales of the mid-tier struggling. The trend is particularly noticeable amongst smartphones, laptops, and home cinema and speaker systems.
There was intense competition between leading multinationals Apple and Samsung in overall consumer electronics in 2019, with the leading player losing retail volume share to second-ranked Samsung due its lack of innovation within smartphones and high price increases for its latest models. However, both continued to hold strong brand recognition in the country.
Electronics and appliance specialist retailers continued to be the dominant distribution channel for consumer electronics in Hong Kong. This channel offers two main kinds of outlets with tourists and affluent consumers preferring to visit larger chains such as Fortress and Broadway that tend to be located in high-end shopping centres, which they appreciate for their convenience and reputation in after-sales service, while local consumers tend to opt for computer centres that offer attractive discounts compared to larger chains.
While consumer electronics is predicted to record overall decline in retail volume terms over the forecast period, certain trends from 2019 are predicted to continue to support demand for smart wearables, wireless speakers and OLED TVs as local consumers increasingly demand greater functionality for their budgets. On the other hand, sales of more outdated technology such as in-car navigation, digital cameras and audio separates will be further cannibalised to some degree by the high penetration of smartphones and the increasing sales of wireless speakers, leading to further declines.
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This industry report originates from Passport, our Consumer Electronics market research database.