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According to iSuppi, despite an unprecedented decline in global per capita income in 2009, global revenues for hot electronic products increased for the year, reflecting a fundamental shift in how consumers are prioritizing their spending.
"There’s been a measurable shift in how consumers are spending their disposable income," said Derek Lidow, president and chief executive officer of iSuppli. "In a time of great economic distress, when people had less money and spending on essentials like food and rent declined, consumers surprisingly used a disproportionate amount of their money to purchase new consumer electronics products."
Despite worldwide per capita income in 2009 declined by 2% to US$10,500, global revenues from shipments of smart phones rose by 9.6% for the year, while LCD TVs experienced a 14% increase and netbook PCs surged by a stunning 90%.
"For global consumers, the latest electronic products have become top-priority spend items," Lidow said. "They are willing to spend on these products at the expense of other desirables, such as jewellery, vacations and dining out. This trend will continue as the economic recovery gains momentum, causing global revenue for consumer electronic products to rise in 2010 and beyond."
One major factor allowing consumers to increase their spending on certain electronic products is decreased expenditures on vacations.
"Rather than spending on travel, people are opting to take ‘staycations,’ where they stay home during their vacation time," Lidow noted. "To make their staycations more enjoyable, consumers are buying products to entertain themselves in their homes, including LCD-TVs."
Consumers around the world have also been increasing their spend on devices that enable them to be connected to the Internet as they move from place to place.
As travel become increasingly expensive and the world more and more homogenised, and social networking platforms like Facebook penetrate more and more of the general population, are we currently engaged in a fundamental shift in how we relate to the real world, substituting electronic experiences for real ones? Let us know your thoughts below.