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UAE consumers spending more on electronics

Plug-Ins survey shows smartphones top shopping list followed by televisions, tablets and laptops

Gulf News

Dubai: Consumers in the UAE are spending an average of Dh4,875 on consumer electronics today, compared to the Dh3,000 they spent in September, a survey conducted by Plug-Ins showed on Sunday.

Sean Connor, general manager of Plug Ins, said that 93.7 per cent of respondents made a major electronics purchase over the last 12 months with smartphones (66.3 per cent) topping their shopping list, followed by televisions (39.2 per cent), tablets (38.4 per cent) and laptops (37.8 per cent).

He said the survey was conducted online with 1,986 participants across 52 nationalities over a period of 24 days.

According to the survey, 53 per cent of gadget research is done online and 49.8 per cent of the respondents spend one to three hours inside retail stores before making a purchase.

“It is becoming more evident that consumers are becoming largely platform-agnostic. They are not bothered about the platform but only about the technology that offers them,” he said.

Neelesh Bhatnagar, CEO of Emax Electronics, said that consumers study a product more closely and compare it to competing offerings before making a decision.

While choosing a smartphone, Connor said camera resolution wielded significance on the decision to purchase.

According to the survey, Samsung still leads the smartphone market with 55.2 per cent, followed by Apple with 39.15 per cent and BlackBerry with 25.9 per cent. Nokia is re-emerging with newer and value-added features in its newer models.

The survey said that 72.4 per cent of respondents intend to buy a smartphone in the next six months.

In relation to TV sales, he said trends show that current ownership is highest for 30-39 inches, followed by 40-42 inches.

“Size and resolution is the top purchase influencer for TVs in the UAE, but energy efficiency is the new influencer,” he said.

When buying a laptop/tablet, the brand name continues to be the biggest influencer, followed by device compatibility and screen size

He said the primary use for tablet or laptop was browsing (43.2 per cent in 2014 vs 39.8 per cent in 2013) but there was a noticeable increase in people using their device for work (27 per cent in 2014 vs. 23.85 per cent in 2013)

“More people are purchasing DSLR [digital single-lens reflex] cameras [73.7 per cent in 2014 vs 72.6 per cent in 2013] and there is a decline in people buying point-and-shoot [10.5 per cent in 2014 vs 12.2 per cent in 2013]. Camcorder/handycam’s maintained their position [15.8 per cent in 2014 vs 15.2 per cent],” he said.

When it comes to cameras, brand was the “biggest influencer” followed by price and features.