Consumer spending on smart TVs in the Middle East and Africa is forecast to drop 9.4% in the second half of this year when compared to the first half as consumers opt to tighten their purse strings due to economic slowdown.
Isaac T. Ngatia, a senior research analyst at IDC, told TechRadar Pro Middle East that consumers reprioritised their investments during Covid-19 and the economic fallout has led to a more frugal approach to spending.
Moreover, he said that a global shortage of TV panels is compounding this trend by causing supply issues due to the lockdowns.
In the first quarter of this year, the volume stood at 4.9m with a value of $1.8b while in the second quarter, volume stood at 4.3m with a value of $1.7b.
In the second half, the volume is expected to be 9.5m units with a value of $3.2b when compared to a volume of 9.2m units and a value of $3.5b in the first half.
“The main priority went into connectivity due to remote working and remote learning. Instead of smart TV purchases, consumers went for affordable options such as streaming sticks to keep them entertained while at home,” he said.
In the first half of last year, Ngatia said the volume stood at 9.7m units with a value of $3.8b.
The biggest spenders in the region are Saudi Arabia, UAE, Turkey and South Africa.
2021 to witness growth
Ashish Panjabi, COO at Jacky’s Electronics and Jacky’s Business Solutions, said that there is an uptake in TV sales and it is still better than the earlier stages of lockdown.
“Some people are buying the newer versions of Samsung TVs such as the Frame and The Serif models. Some people are buying newer models of TVs with AirPlay compatibility to have Zoom parties at home,” he said.
However, he said that due to the closure of retail shops during Covid-19, TV sales are lesser when compared to the same period last year and expects sales to be marginally lower this year as most sporting events such as 2020 UEFA European Football Championships and Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympic Games.
According to Counterpoint Research, global TV shipments will fall from 231.1m units to 211.9m this year and grow to 226.7m units in 2021.
Ngatia said that growth will happen next year if online learning continues.
“Smart TVs will become an important component of homeschooling. In certain African countries, there is a push for TVs to be used for homeschooling instead of laptops and tablets; South African Government plans to supply thousands of HD TVs to the households of 2020 matric learners,” he said.
Panjabi said that e-learning through TVs is very unlikely to happen in the Gulf Cooperation Council countries.
“TV means, it is one-way learning and not interactive. It has to be interactive in e-learning. Laptop and tablet penetration rates are higher in the GCC and the broadband speeds are far better than African countries,” he said.
Research firm Omdia expects that a flurry of rescheduled sports events in 2021 will boost television sales.