After a massive drop in the first year of the pandemic in Austria in 2020, portable players is set to continue to experience declines in 2021. In addition to the long-term demise of portable media players and e-readers, which have continued to be impacted by substitution for smartphones and tablets, the previously dynamic wireless speakers is suffering from the fact that leisure activities, travel and greater socialising remain limited due to various restrictions in place as a result of the pandemic.
Pre-pandemic, wireless speakers was one of the most dynamic fastest growing areas of consumer electronics in Austria during the review period, appreciated for its portability around the home, with a major driving purchasing factor being its ability to pair easily with smartphones, allowing consumers to stream content through services such as Spotify. However, despite the home entertainment and seclusion trends of 2020 as consumers were restricted in their movements by measures to control the virus including lockdowns, wireless speakers experienced double-digit retail volume decline, with 2021 set to see a further, albeit lower, decline as out-of-home leisure and socialising activities remain limited.
Harman Deutschland GmbH is set to regain its leadership of portable players from Amazon.com Inc in 2021 in a fairly consolidated competitive landscape.
Even pre-pandemic habits in terms of leisure, travel and on-the-go lifestyles are likely to return to a larger extent in Austria over the forecast period depending on the threat level of the virus, demand for portable media players is expected to continue on its strong downward trend, despite the fact that these devices are designed for out-of-home use. However, their technology is now deemed outdated compared to the favourable pairing of smartphones and wireless speakers, particularly when socialising at parties, for instance.
After a dynamic review period, wireless speakers is predicted to reach a level of saturation over the forecast period, with stagnation followed by declines in terms of demand impacting the category’s sales. This is likely to result in stronger price competition amongst players to drive volume, with value sales (at constant 2021 prices) set to experience much stronger declines in comparison, due to a consistent drop in the average unit price.
Considering that the pandemic and the resulting home seclusion trend was unable to provide a relevant push for sales, demand for e-readers is predicted to continue declining over the forecast period, with the category unlikely to return to sales figures from its introductory years in Austria. For occasional reading using digital devices, many consumers are now more likely to use their tablets or larger screen smartphones which offer easy-on-the eyes display settings without needing to purchase a separate specific gadget.
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This report originates from Passport, our Portable Players research and analysis database.
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