Consumers In Emerging Markets Outpace Americans in Buying Electronics...Especially Greener Gadgets

china electronics economy photo

Photo via oskay via Flickr CC

Americans spend an average of $1,200 a year per household on new gadgets. And while we all watch for the latest new cell phone or laptop to hit the market, we aren't the only ones who are consumer-happy with electronics. According to a new report, developing economies are more likely than ever to outpace Americans in their gadget consumption. However, they're also far more likely than Americans to purchase environmentally friendly devices, and use those devices to their fullest.
Gizmag points us to the latest report from Accenture which surveyed 16,000 consumers in eight countries, including China, France, Germany, India , Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, and the United States.

Globally, 85% of those surveyed bought consumer technology in the past year. Not surprising considering we know that cell phones are upgraded at the rate of every 18 months, and notebook computers at the rate of every 3 years. Throw in the newest digital televisions, gaming devices, Blu-Ray players and so on...and well, it isn't a surprising statistic. That is surprising is that purchase rates in emerging economies are now outpacing the US.

While that might seem frightening, another aspect of the research reveals that consumers in emerging markets are more likely than Americans to purchase environmentally friendly technologies. Now, that is based on consumer feedback, rather than an analysis of actual purchases, so take it with a dash of salt. But still, the fact that people are so willing to say, "Yes, I'll buy green" is heartening.

"Surprisingly, despite consumers' emphasis on price, a majority (67 percent) of consumers globally said they were willing to pay a premium for products that are
environmentally friendly--indicating that sustainability is rapidly becoming more important to consumers worldwide... Consumers in emerging markets were far more likely than their mature-market counterparts to say they would pay a premium for products that are environmentally friendly. In fact, virtually all--98 percent--of Chinese
consumers, compared with just 43 percent of consumers in the United States, reported such willingness."

Additionally, consumers in emerging economies are more likely to use all of a device's functions - something we strongly encourage since it reduces the number of gadgets a person owns in the long run.

The top items of consumption include computers (92%), mobile phones (85%), digital cameras (77%), DVD players (73%) and - this is interesting - CRT TVs (61%) followed by HDTVs (47%). Price is most likely the clincher on TV type.

"One of the reasons for this emerging-country growth is the rapid expansion of the middle class with its substantial disposable income," said Jean-Laurent Poitou, Managing Director of Accenture's Electronics and High Tech Industry group. "Furthermore, our research shows that the increased demand for smart connected wireless devices such as smartphones is being driven by social-networking applications."

The findings are very interesting and ripe for analysis. Read the full report - it's short and fascinating.

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