Sales of portable consumer electronics went into decline in Asia Pacific in 2020 due to Coronavirus (COVID-19), but will quickly bounce back into positive growth in 2021, with further annual increases expected over the forecast period. Wireless speakers, smart wearables and TWS earbuds will continue to see dynamic growth, while products like digital cameras and many of the items in portable players will continue to be substituted by the ever-improving versatility of the smartphone.
Up to 2020, the historic period saw positive growth rates being recorded every year, with the same expected in the post-pandemic period. COVID-19 disrupted the market in 2020, seeing sales decline for the first time in many years. Although the virus was still present in many countries moving into the new year, 2021 will see an immediate rebound back to positive annual growth rates.
To target consumers who have diversified demands, new smart wearables are developing differentiated positionings. In addition to fully functional smart wearables such as Apple Watch, advanced health management features have been pushed to the fore in terms of new product development, with heart rate and blood oxygen monitors becoming standard. The new Huawei Watch 3 boasts a number of features, such as All-Day Health Monitoring, which includes detection of bloody oxygen levels through its TruSeen 4.5+ technology, and a new Skin Temperature Detector, which is particularly relevant post-pandemic.
Online sales received a major boost from the pandemic in 2020, but are expected to continue gaining share in 2021. E-commerce represented an ideal way of buying goods for consumers in lockdown or looking to avoid going out in public to minimise the risk of contracting a potentially deadly virus. With large numbers of industry players having improved their online activities, many people seem to have been persuaded to permanently shift to internet retailing.
Networks offering 5G coverage are gradually being rolled out in some countries, which should help persuade consumers to upgrade to 5G-compatible models, providing momentum for a category that had generally been stagnating prior to the pandemic.
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