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"Serbia Consumer Electronics Report Q1 2014" Published

Recently published research from Business Monitor International, "Serbia Consumer Electronics Report Q1 2014", is now available at Fast Market Research

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Boston, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 01/01/2014 -- Although the Serbian consumer electronics market is one of the least lucrative and developed in the region, it has strong growth prospects over the medium term which attracts investments from global vendors. We project Serbian consumer electronics spending will grow by about 7% in US dollar terms in 2013 to US$1.2bn, and continue to outperform regional markets over the medium term to 2017. Sales growth rates will be higher than elsewhere in the region as incomes rise and vendors tap the low penetration rates for many consumer electronics devices. Household PC penetration, despite more than doubling over the previous five years, remains at below 30%, while smartphone penetration of around 15% is also a long way below the regional average, and could more than double over the next two years.

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Headline Expenditure Projections:

- Computer Hardware Sales: US$445mn in 2012 to US$493mn in 2013; +11% in US dollar terms. Low device penetration rates offer faster growth rates than elsewhere in Europe, but tablet sales will still outperform notebooks.
- AV Sales: US$397mn in 2012 to US$408mn in 2013; +3% in US dollar terms. Forecast in US dollar terms unchanged. Flat-screen TV sets will be the main growth driver as Serbia continues its steady migration to digital broadcasting.
- Handset Sales: US$268mn in 2012 to US$284mn in 2013; +6% in US dollar terms. The handset market is the most dynamic segment of the consumer electronics market as affordable smartphones hit the market, primarily from East Asia, resulting in steep increases in penetration.

Key Trends & Developments

The Serbian PC market is relatively undeveloped, with household PC penetration reaching 55% in 2012, far below the EU-27 average of 78%. Low penetration means there is still an opportunity for vendors to tap the first-time buyer market, as well as the upgrade/replacement market. This should see volumes of desktop and notebooks fare better in Serbia as households still need productivity devices. However, BMI believes the competition from low-cost tablets will still cannibalise sales, particularly to consumers that only require low-level functionality. The lower price points of tablets, particularly as the range of Android tablets widens, will enable greater sales volumes.

In the handset market smartphone penetration is beginning to rise rapidly, but is far below the level found in Western European markets, and below the CEE average. Low-priced smartphone models have sold the best and vendors continue to be attracted to the market. For instance, in October 2013 Lenovo launched its smartphones and tablets in Serbia, the first rollout in CEE. Competition from Lenovo, and other Chinese Android partner vendors such as Huawei and ZTE will add to the dynamic of price competition, boosting penetration but potentially squeezing vendor margins.

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