CEA's growth reflects the consumer electronics (CE) industry.
Total sales of consumer electronics products should reach U.S. $95 billion
in 2003 with future sales growth expected in 2004. The range of CE products
has flourished during the past several years due to digital and wireless
technology, portable multimedia devices, and of course, the impact of the
Internet. Bigger, better, flatter screens, amazingly sharp HD pictures,
multi-channel surround sound, real-time information, and connectivity in
a networked world, all allow consumers to stay connected, informed, educated,
Our industry has created brand new product categories, launched innovative
products, invented countless new features, and even reinvented how products
are sold. Along the way, the industry has highlighted needs that consumers
didn't even know they had. A typical family will spend $1,050 this year
on CE gear, plus another $1,150 a year on related services. Our future
is bright - our products connect people, give them comfort, allow access
to news, and provide an entertaining diversion.
Ruts in the Road
However, there are challenges that confront us daily. We face continuing
economic uncertainty. We face a public concerned about continued global
unrest and terrorism. Further, we face a host of issues unique to the CE
industry such as copyright concerns, end-of-life-cycle product recycling,
and broadband availability. Our industry needs new-technology introductions
to sustain its growth. While HDTV and digital radio are hot, and recordable
DVD and Wi-Fi show promise, a new-technology lull could impact total industry
We need to find innovative business solutions to boost profits while
competition intensifies, new manufacturers enter the U.S. market, and prices
continue to fall.
We also are challenged by the need to strike a balance between protecting
intellectual property while preserving fair use and home recording rights.
To preserve that critical balance, CEA continues to work closely with the
Home Recording Rights Coalition (HRRC). The HRRC has been protecting the
legitimacy of technology and the recording rights of consumers for more
than 20 years. Together we fight to ensure that the shift to digital content
does not completely overturn consumers' established fair user rights.
Yet challenges create opportunities. The consumer technology market has
a solid record of growth, and we have every reason to be optimistic going
forward. Despite economic uncertainties, consumers are finding compelling
reasons, including rapidly falling prices, to upgrade from analog to new
digital products. I remain optimistic about our future.
A Shining Future
Less than 5 years after the introduction of HDTV, we have achieved more
than $10 billion in sales. While HDTV sales certainly will continue to
grow, on the horizon we see new HDTV-like opportunities. The promise includes
prerecorded HDTV, the glory of the next generation of HDTV 1080P, the beauty
of flat HDTV in homes and businesses through large LCD, plasma, and newer
display technologies providing paper-thin visual displays on walls anywhere.
Visual displays will define our interiors, and sound from multiple speakers
will encompass us. Cable, broadcast, satellite, telephone, power line,
and prerecorded media all will vie for consumers. Broadband will provide
the signal. Wireless will give us access. And consumers will enjoy a plethora
of entertainment, security, and information options. They will be connected,
informed, interested, and safe.
Our industry has changed the world. We've redefined work and play. We've
improved the quality of life for billions. And we'll continue to lead the
way in fulfilling consumer needs for even more access to information, entertainment,
and education for citizens the world over. We see a bright future with
our products everywhere. And we see CEA and the International CES as being
at the center of the businesses that will be created.