5/28/2009 10:22:00 AM
Pain for car-kits and headsets as sales rapidly decline
Sales of Bluetooth headsets and car-kits have rapidly declined, as new figures emerged that the accessories market is the hardest hit sector in the mobile industry.
Figures show a 13% decline in accessories revenue over 2009 compared with the previous year – which was also down 20% from 2007.
Nokia is estimated to have earmarked sales of £2.6m for the entire second quarter of the year – a massive drop from the levels the manufacturer is accustomed to.
Nokia remains by far the biggest brand in mobile accessories, with rivals struggling to replicate the gains made on handsets in the accessories market.
The recent difficulties in the motor industry have had a huge bearing for mobile dealers and distributors selling car-kits. Car production in 2009 is ?down 56% to around 250,000, and production of commercial vehicles has fallen 64% to just under 30,000, according to data from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders.
Car-kits have represented over half the revenue for Nokia’s accessories business, and now it is battling with specialist firm Parrot for share in the declining market.
The price of Bluetooth headsets has been cut significantly as consumers look to reduce any ‘non-essential’, discretionary spending.
Industry executives said the accessories sector had mirrored the polarisation in the handset market, with consumers seeking cheaper devices.
One senior source said: ‘Low end is doing well, as really cheap headsets ?are being thrown into handset bundles.’
Another source said: ‘There is a big decline, but there are small volumes at the high end that are holding up well.’
Distributors continue to dominate the accessories market, supplying the bulk of large retailers’ and networks’ accessories categories.
Dextra, part of 20:20 Mobile, is believed to account for around 60% of Nokia’s total UK accessories sales, while Data Select makes up around 20%.