Smarter appliances lead consumer trends
18 March 2012 11:49
Consumers looking for "smarter" appliances on the Chinese mainland are predominantly busy workers, which means "simplicity" and "convenience" are vital product characteristics.
Tapping into this trend, manufacturers are designing home appliances that are smart as well as user-friendly.
Midea's soy milk makers are an example. As well as making soy milk, they can produce fruit and vegetable juices and rice paste, simply by pressing the appropriate button.
The Chinese mainland production company's intelligent rice cooker with voice prompt function is a real eye-opener.
Germany's Glanz launched the Uovo, the first spherical-shaped microwave oven in the world - and appears to have marked a new age of "intelligent manufacturing" in China.
Electric kettles from Mainland firms Haier, Supor and other brands with automatic shut-off and boil-dry protection features are immensely popular.
Global brand Philips' AC4002 air purifier has an intelligent sensor that can automatically filter air in a room.
Coffee makers are popular among young people and are user-friendly with anti-drip features.
Vertical steamers change the way people do their ironing and allow users to iron their clothes hanging on a stand instead of lying horizontally on a flat surface. They are new favourites among housewives.
Prices of smart appliances range from just a few hundred yuan to over Rmb10,000. Consumers can buy appliances of different grades.
Some manufacturers are producing flagship products to meet the needs of high-end consumers.
For example, Midea's steam inverter microwave ovens have a built-in version, selling at close to Rmb10,000.
Angel's refrigerator-style drinking fountain has large cooler and freezer compartments.
Market demand means greater technological innovation from manufacturers. They need a good grasp of market trends, proactively adjusting their development strategies and stepping up R&D and product improvements.
from Liu Qun, Beijing Office