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Brands key to young Asian tech buys

News, 17 May 2016

SHANGHAI: Brands are key for younger Asian online buyers of tech products, although across APAC battery life and features tend to be the most important purchase drivers.

A report, Asia-Pacific Consumer Tech Ownership and Opportunity Study, from the Consumer Technology Association (CTA), highlighted a particular group of buyers – 25-44 years old, living in urban areas, and owning large amounts of tech – for whom brands are the most important factor when contemplating a tech purchase.

And while these can be found across the region, they are most likely to be in China, where enthusiasm for buying tech online – and for the early adoption of the latest technology – is most pronounced, the South China Morning Post reported.

When considering their next tech purchase, the study found that Chinese consumers are much more likely to shop online (62%) rather than purchase in-store (38%).

This was in contrast to Indonesia, where only 38% planned online purchases, Malaysia (33%), Vietnam (29%) and the Philippines (24%); the majority in these countries continued to prefer in-store purchases where they could try out products.

"Given the country's robust online marketplace and enthusiasm for technology, it's no surprise China is far-and-away the APAC region leader when it comes to early tech adoption and online tech purchases," said Gary Shapiro, the CTA's president and chief executive.

The most frequently purchased tech item is the smartphone, where brands such as Xiaomi have pioneered an online, direct-sales model featuring flash sales to build interest.

Aside from that, the most-owned tech devices in China were desktops, laptops, digital cameras and headphones.

Smartphones were also the most popular tech device in Malaysia, Vietnam and Indonesia, but in the Philippines, on- or over-the-ear headphones ranked as the most-owned tech device.

"Consumers across the developing APAC region are diverse in their tech consumption habits, but a clear appetite for mobility is a unifying trend," noted Steve Koenig, senior director/market research at the CTA.

China also had the highest percentage of self-reported early tech adopters: 59% of respondents indicated they buy a new tech device as soon as, or shortly after, it becomes available.

That compared to figures of 49% for Malaysia and Indonesia, 40% for Vietnam and 32% for the Philippines.

Data sourced from CTA, South China Morning Post; additional content by Warc staff