BERLIN: Sales of a wide range of "connected devices", from tablets and smartphones to web-enabled TV sets, are expected to rise significantly in Germany this year, a forecast has predicted.

BITKOM, the trade body, and GfK, the research firm, estimated that tablet sales should hit 2.6m in 2012, 24% higher than the 2.1m recorded in 2011.

In value terms, however, this segment is due to witness growth of just 13% to €1.1bn, an annual expansion of around €100m, indicating that average prices are falling.

A total of 22.9m smartphones will purchased this year, measured against 15.9m last year, a 43% increase. Category revenues were pegged to jump by 46% to €7.9bn.

Elsewhere, the analysis stated that sales of connected TVs would rise from 3.4m to 4.9m setsin 2012. As a consequence, this market should be worth €4.3bn in 2012, versus €3.2bn in 2011.

By contrast, while 5.3m standard television sets will be purchased this year, a decline from 6.1m over the last 12 months. Similarly, the returns from this sector are expected to drop from €2.7bn to €2bn.

"The demand for consumer electronics continues unabated despite a slowing economy as a whole," Ralph Haupter, from BITKOM, said. "Innovative products such as Smart TV, 3D TV and high-quality digital cameras is driving the market."

To further understand how these trends could impact the market, BITKOM polled 2,000 people aged 15 years old and above, and found 77% had watched TV and browsed the web simultaneously.

Some 30% of people engaging in this activity had looked up details concerning the broadcast content they were enjoying using electronic programme guides, the results revealed.

Another 23% made posts on social networks about the material they were viewing, the same number as researched the show in question. Just 13% accessed bonus online content provided by broadcasters.

Equally, analysis of viewing habits during the 2012 Olympic Games discovered that 15% of people had watched live streams on a desktop PC, standing at 14% for a laptop, plus 6% for smartphones and 4% for tablets. In all, 25% of Germans used at least one such channel.

Data sourced from BITKOM; additional content by Warc staff