After enjoying bumper sales over the last few holiday seasons in France, tablet and smartphone will have even more reason to rejoice this year. According to a study just released by GfK French consumers are anticipated to spend €460 million on smartphones and €450 million on tablets this holiday season despite the tough economic environment. These two categories represent an increase of +9% and +36% respectively and are the shining stars of the electronics category which is expected, at an overall level, to remain flat at €2 billion in sales during the Christmas period.
French consumers’ appetite for tablets doesn’t seem to show any signs of abating. For the first time this year, tablets are set to be a more popular gift than televisions whose sales are expected to drop 25% and PCs whose sales will be off 15% from last year. According to GfK’s deputy director general François Klipfel, one reason that tablets have done and continue to do so well is the diversity of price points which make them accessible to most everyone. In addition he notes, unsurprisingly, that while TVs, cameras, PCs and digital music players will still do solid sales this year, there really is a saturation of these products in the French market and, as a result, consumers are turning to more innovative products. Tablets certainly fall into this category for many, but also ‘innovations’ such as wifi connections for cameras, 4K TVs, hybrid PCs, and complementary items for mobile devices such as speakers, all which put a new spin on more traditional electronics product categories. Of course, game consoles will be a big item this year too with the big PS4 and Xbox One launches getting underway this November. The PS4 in particular, which set to launch November 29th in Europe, will undoubtedly be a big hit here if the 1 million sales in the first 24-hr start Sony had in the US is anything to go by (despite the reported technical glitches).