MUMBAI: The consumer electronics industry will see overall shipment revenues top $173 billion in the US in 2008, according to new data released by the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA).
The semi-annual US Consumer Electronics Sales and Forecast shows that CE shipment revenues will grow by 7.3 per cent this year, reaching more than $183 billion by 2009.
CEA president and CEO Gary Shapiro says, “The CE industry is a backbone of economic activity in this country. In a tough economy, consumers turn to CE products for many reasons – from entertaining in the home to telecommuting to save gas. Such factors – and access to global consumers through free trade – help the CE industry to flourish while growth rates of other industries have either stalled or declined. Consumers don’t want to live without CE products and continue to crave the latest gadgets and innovations our industry has to offer.”
This latest forecast increases CEA’s projection for 2008 shipment revenues, last updated in January 2008, by $2 billion. Leading the way are digital displays, with shipment revenues approaching $28 billion. DTV shipments represent 16 per cent of all CE shipment revenues. With the switch to digital television occurring on 17 February 2009, unit sales for digital displays will accelerate, climbing 24 per cent this year, while retail prices will fall by 11 per cent.
CEA’s director of industry analysis Steve Koenig says, “LCD TVs dominate the digital display market. With prices continuing to drop, consumers are deciding the time is right to upgrade to digital. By the end of the year, more than 60 per cent of US households will have at least one digital television.”
Video games also remain a hot category as revenues once again reach record highs. Video gaming wholesale revenues will total more than $21 billion in 2008. Video game software is the dollar driver, buoyed by a burgeoning installed base of next-generation consoles. With the help of blockbuster gaming titles and franchises, gaming software shipment dollars will grow 27 per cent this year and 23 per cent in 2009. Portable video game systems will also shine in 2008 as consumers continue to seek CE products they can use anywhere, anytime.
Consumers’ desire to stay entertained and informed at all times is also propelling smartphones to new levels. Smartphones will see revenue growth of 51 per cent this year, comprising 28 per cent of total wireless handset shipments. Koenig says, “Consumers are lining up in front of retail stores to get their hands on the latest smartphones. When it comes to cell phones, call and texting features are not enough for many consumers these days. They want the ability to check email, surf the Internet, play games, watch videos, listen to music and navigate to new locations all on one device. Smartphones provide all this and more.”