We may be watching our pennies, but new research from Mintel finds the market for technology is set to reach electrifying heights as sales are forecast to top the £50 billion mark by the end of 2010 with consumers forfeiting nights out and leisure activities to get their gadget fix.
Between 2004 and 2008, sales of technology rose almost £6.2 billion (13%) to reach £49 billion in 2008. This was as much driven by the increase levels of innovation, but also the thirst of consumers in the boom time to invest their cash in the latest, greatest gadgetry. But despite the continuing recession, the market for technology is holding up well in the face of increased economic uncertainty with sales forecast to grow to £60 billion by the end of 2014.
The research reveals growth is being driven on our continued reliance on new technology, which has so far proved difficult to dampen – even in the worst of times. Indeed, as many as four in ten (38%) of us would be willing to give up on a night out in order to buy an electronic device such as an Apple ipod or HDTV. Furthermore, almost three in ten (29%) would give up a live music event such as a gig or festival or a weekend away in order to get their technology fix.
Jim Clark, Senior Technology Analyst at Mintel said:
” in many ways, the recession has had a positive effect for the technology market and encouraged consumers to consider the latest, converged devices coming to the market in a quest for greater value. The likes of the Apple iPhone, for example, does away with the need for a digital camera, video camera, MP3 player, PDA and web browser – avoiding upfront costs of buying the device through a manageable monthly subscription. “
” at the same time, as many as 41% of adult Internet users are going out less during the week than a year ago. This will impact on demand for home technology as consumers look to the living room for their entertainment needs. Retailers will be able to market devices around their ‘long term’ savings, over expensive family days out, for example. ” adds Jim.
The research also revealed around one in twenty (6%) have tried to cut down on their technology habit but were finding it difficult, while a devoted 5% said nothing would ever stop them from buying new technology. Just 11% of Brits admit that spend on new technology, including gadgets, equipment and software, was the first thing they had cut during the economic downturn.
However, it appears swapping nights out with friends for nights in with technology has truly been in vain when it comes to our relationships. Proving that online networks are inspiring more ‘lone communication’, the research reveals that just a quarter of Brits felt that technology had actually improved the quality of their relationships.
 

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