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CEA Report Says Consumers Still Buying CE Products
Jul 28, 2009
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Consumers continue to buy technology products to improve their lives, although the consumer electronics (CE) industry will see overall shipment revenues decline in 2009, according to the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA). The semi-annual U.S. Consumer Electronics Sales and Forecast shows that industry revenues will contract to US$165 billion in 2009 but grow slightly in 2010.

The consumer electronics industry will see shipment revenues fall 7.7%, to $165 billion this year, the first decline since 2001. While consumer demand for CE products remains high, CEA said that several market forces are contributing to lower revenues, including lower consumer spending, price declines and compositional shifts in key product categories. As consumer confidence rebuilds, industry revenues will grow, albeit at a pace of less than 1% in 2010. CEA’s forecast projects industry revenues will bottom out by the second half of 2009, although many risk factors remain causing industry growth to remain muted.

Digital displays continue to be the primary revenue driver for the industry, comprising 15 percent of overall industry sales. Unit shipments of displays remain robust, projected to be up 8% in 2009. LCDs remain the display of choice for consumers with unit volumes jumping 24%. TV display shipment revenues are expected to drop 6% this year to $24 billion.

CEA said that blu-ray players are poised for growth in 2009. Unit shipments of Blu-ray players will jump 112% this year, reaching nearly 6 million. Even as prices drop, CEA said that revenues are expected to top $1 billion dollars, an increase of 48% over 2008.

Continued innovation in the smartphone category is leading to high consumer demand and increased shipment revenues, CEA said. Smartphone shipment revenues will increase almost 3% in 2009, to nearly $14 billion, despite declines in average unit prices. Smartphones will account for one in four total handset sales this year.

CEA’s updated sales and forecast also shows netbook momentum is building within the PC category. Unit shipments are forecasted to nearly double in 2009, rising 85%, to 8.5 million units. Even as more consumers opt for lower-priced netbooks, the category will reach $3.4 billion in revenue in 2009.

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