A report for the technology sector has predicted that the overall demand for consumer technology will defy the economic headwinds of 2012.

Deloitte's global technology, media and telecommunications (TMT) report has predicted Australian households will spend $5.44 billion on computers and software, which is 80 per cent of the estimated $6.8 billion total.

Damien Tampling, Deloitte National TMT leader, said these new records will be set by the sales of smartphones, tables as well as computers of all descriptions.

“Our global research indicates that consumers are more likely to defer spending on the ‘big-ticket’ items, like holidays, a car or even a sporting event, in favour of consumer electronics. Given the plummeting cost of technology over the past three decades, consumers can achieve an outstanding ‘bang for their buck’,” he said.

“There are opportunities around both the consumer and the vendor in 2012, as customers may well choose both a new computer and television, rather than spend on a bigger ticket item like travel,” he said.

“The dollar value of the market however will be moderate.

“The average Australian household is predicted to spend around 2 per cent of their weekly disposable income, just under $24 per week, on home computer equipment, including pre-packaged software and mobile phone related expenses;  a similar proportion to the US spend.”

Deloitte also predicts that roughly five million tablets will be sold globally in 2012 to people who already own one – generating up to $2 billion in revenue. In contrast, it took several decades for one household to have more than one car, phone, radio or television, and ten years for a similar landmark to be reached in the computing and mobile phone markets.

Tampling pointed out that an interesting development in the workplace.

“Employees are also very quickly moving away from the standard issue of IT hardware (and even software) and bringing their own tablets, smart phones and even laptops to work. In some services industries like ours, they are also going so far as to set up their own ‘hot spots’ so they can access the internet from their preferred device and transfer data more easily between people on projects,” he said.

“This is both an opportunity and a challenge.

“It gives companies the chance to rethink how they provide on support hardware. Perhaps consider a shared model with their employees and so defray their costs? The challenge for content owners, network operators and retailers is that companies are likely to require tablets to have greater security and ruggedness.

“Any vendor that is able to offer seamless sharing among families of devices – as a well as a common user interface – is likely to get the competitive advantage.”