Demand for SSDs and smartphone storage on the rise – GfK

Solid state drives and smartphones with higher storage capacities are both on the rise. GfK’s IT specialist Megan Wood explains why and takes a look at the state of the IT market.

 The overall IT retail market has seen a decrease of four per cent year-on-year in Q3. This was driven by media tablets and desk computing continuing to decline.

Monitors (25 per cent), components (11 per cent) and networking (15 per cent) were all in value growth, however, mobile computing saw a six per cent volume increase at the cost of a five per cent decrease in value, with decreasing ASPs.

The retail storage market grew by 10 per cent in value, comparing Q3 2015 with Q3 2014. This growth is indicative of a wider trend in IT where many of the peripheral markets are growing. Within storage specifically, the category experiencing the strongest growth is solid state drives, a category which grew in value by 35 per cent Q3-on-Q3.

However, traditional storage categories are growing as well, with the internal hard disc drive market growing by 12 per cent – and the external hard disc drive market increased in value by four per cent. This demonstrates that the growth in storage is not solely driven by demand for flash storage but reflects a general consumer demand for local storage solutions.

Moving on to the smartphone market, in response to the growing need for space within handsets, the market has moved away from extendable memory.

The number of handsets sold with the capability of holding a memory card is decreasing steadily.

Two years ago, in September 2013, only 40 per cent of smartphones sold came without a memory card slot. In September 2015 that number was 52.7 per cent. In direct response to this, the preferred memory variant of smartphones is on the increase.

Two years ago, more than 90 per cent of smartphones sold had a capacity of 16GB or less. At the same time this year, over a quarter of all smartphones sold were 32GB in capacity or more.

In the last 12 months, mobile headset sales contributed to around 40 per cent of the value of the mobile accessories market. Around a third of this value is generated in Q4, showing the importance of the holiday period within the accessories market. The volume of purchases jumps throughout November and December, as does the average price of a headset purchase.

Mobile headsets with Bluetooth are performing well this year compared to previous.

This is driven by stereo headsets which overtook mono headsets in November last year.

With stereo headsets having a higher price point and increased sales throughout the year, we could expect the repeated success of mobile headsets to be even greater in Q4 2015.

Megan Wood is an IT specialist at GfK.

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