Now in its 27th year, the Autumn Hong Kong Electronics Fair got off to a good start on Saturday with a record 2,480 exhibitors, making it the largest electronics expo in Asia and the second largest in the world. Described as the place where supply meets demand, the fair attract buyers from all over the world looking to source new products. This fair tends to be largely focused on satisfying OEM and ODM needs as many distributors and retailers were scouting to make private label deals.
CES in Las Vegas is the place to see the newest and most innovative home technologies, but the Hong Kong Electronics Fair is the place to see make good deals on commodity products—products whose popular demand has already been established. The three hottest categories this year were digital picture frames, MP3/PMPs and GPS navigation units. Buyers interested in any of those categories faced a large selection of similar products, with many of the manufacturers willing to customize or private label orders.
While last year saw steep price declines on LCD displays--which led to cheaper prices for digital picture frames and anything else that contains a small LCD--many exhibitors said that this year will be different. They complained that the LCD panel makers have cut back on the small panels in order to concentrate on the more profitable large LCD panels. The result is that manufacturers who rely on small screens have to pay more for those short supply products and in turn need to charge their customers more for the finished goods. The upshot is that US consumers may not experience the price compression this holiday season that they’ve grown accustomed to. SP Lee, director of Saarland Limited said that he’s having trouble buying smaller LCD panels this year, but so far he doesn’t think that consumer prices for digital photo frames will be going up.