Keeping an eye on the CES show, Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) President and CEO Gary Shapiro announced that the consumer electronics (CE) industry will generate more than $165 billion in U.S. shipment revenues this year, a slight increase from 2009, according to the semi-annual industry forecast released today.
“2009 is a year none of us wish to repeat and now we look forward to 2010. There is light at the end of the tunnel and it is the bright light of innovation,” said Shapiro. “We are seeing more innovation at this show than at any show in our history. There are a record number of new exhibitors, more than 330, among the 2,500 companies showcasing the next generation of technology.”
The CE industry will see positive revenue growth in 2010 after a revenue decline in 2009. Total industry shipment revenues fell an estimated 7.8 percent in 2009 although unit volume increased nearly ten percent for the year as consumers bought electronics at a value, limiting industry revenues. As the economy begins its slow recovery from the recession, the CE industry will lead the way as popular product categories are poised for growth in 2010.
The wireless handset category is expected to have a strong 2010, becoming the primary revenue driver for the industry. Smartphones continue to lead the way, generating nearly $17 billion in shipment revenue and more than 52 million unit sales in 2010. Smartphones comprise more than 30 percent of total wireless phone shipments, with that number increasing in the years ahead.
Sales of computers are also expected to be a bright spot in 2010 as the category continues to be driven by the popularity of netbooks. Netbook sales more than doubled in 2009 as the computer category showed stronger sales than previous forecasts predicted. In 2010, more than 30 million notebooks will be sold, generating more than $14 billion in revenue.
I think we will really see an expansion of more wireless devices as WiFi enabled printers, digital cameras and e-readers penetrate the market. I see TVs, video cameras and MP3 players being connected next as higher bandwidth connections become available which would be exciting to have all of our devices finally connected to each other.
I also think it will be a year where the connected home starts to develop for monitoring and controlling lights, appliances and HVAC as energy conservation continues to be a frontline issue. There are several iPhone apps that already enable this monitoring with appropriate hardware (I might have to get one now). There are many wireless technologies fighting to become the solution in this space which would include smart meter reading and monitoring (ZigBee, WiFi, Bluetooth, Z-wave, DECT, etc.).
What do you think will be the hot areas in Consumer Electronics this year?