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Growing demand for smart gadgets: What Germans want to buy in 2019

10. January 2019 Published by Raphael Doerr

Smartphones are still at the top of the wish list for 2019, according to the results of a representative survey conducted by Bitkom. Also much-coveted: smart gadgets such as robovacs, robotic lawn mowers and smart home devices.

Apart from New Year resolutions to do with health and well-being, many people plan at the start of the year how they would like to spend their money in the next 12 months. Technical devices of all sorts are naturally a key item on that wish list.

And smartphones are once more right at the top – every one in four Germans intend to buy a new mobile phone this year. That’s the result of a representative survey conducted among 1,007 persons aged 16 and above on behalf of the German digital association Bitkom. The figure of 24 percent marks an increase over that for 2018 (20 percent). A particularly interesting factor is that that wish is shared across all age groups. In particular 30- to 49-year-olds most want to buy a new device (26 percent), followed by 16- to 29-year-olds (25 percent). 22 percent of 50- to 64-year-olds and 21 of the generation aged 65 and above intend to buy a new Smartphone in 2019.

Tablets are also well up on the shopping list (17 percent). The main reasons for buying a new one are the improvements in technical features such as the battery, camera performance, a larger display or more storage capacity.

There has also been a sharp rise in the desire for a domestic robot and so to gain an initial impression – in what will be a playful way for many customers – about what the Internet of Things and the smart home is about. While just 8 percent of respondents intended to buy an electronic domestic robot for themselves or their own household in 2018, that figure is now every one-in-seven (15 percent). These devices can vacuum, dust or mow the lawn.

More than every one in ten (12 percent, 2018: 9 percent) plan to buy a digital voice assistant such as Google Home or Amazon Echo. Here too, there is particularly keen interest among younger respondents aged between 16 and 29: Every one in five (20 percent) in this age group say they intend to purchase such a gadget in 2019.

Smart TVs (11 percent, 2018: 12 percent) and games consoles such as a PlayStation, Xbox, 3DS or PS Vita (11 percent, 2018: 9 percent) remain a popular choice.

There’s also still a growing desire for smart home products: 9 percent (2018: 6 percent) want to buy smart thermostats to control the heating from their smartphone or tablet. That’s almost the same as the figure for those intending to buy smart lighting connected to the Internet: 8 percent (2018: 5 percent). Security cameras that can be controlled by an app are on the shopping list of 7 percent (2018: 5 percent), while 3 percent (2018: 3 percent) are planning to buy a smart system for controlling the blinds in 2019.

Also on the wish list are e-bikes (8 percent, 2018: 6 percent) and virtual reality glasses (7 percent, 2018: 3 percent). Drones are further down on the list (2 percent, 2018: 2 percent). However, just over half of all respondents (51 percent) said they wouldn’t purchase any of these electronic devices in 2019.

Note on the methodology: The details are based on a survey conducted by Bitkom Research on behalf of the digital association Bitkom in December 2018. 1,007 persons aged 16 and above were surveyed over the phone in Germany. The question read: “Which of the following gadgets do you plan to buy for yourself or your household in 2019?”

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