Dollar SignConsumer electronics (CE) industry revenues will reach a record-high $211.3 billion this year, fueled “in part by the skyrocketing sales of connected devices,” according to the latest semi-annual installment of the Consumer Electronics Association’s (CEA) “U.S. Consumer Electronics Sales and Forecasts 2010-2015” report.

“Industry revenue is reaching all-time highs, fueled in large part by a few specific categories, while much of the industry is still experiencing relatively flat growth due in large part to the continued decline of average selling prices,” Shawn DuBravac, CEA chief economist and senior director of research elaborated.

“Although some categories continue to struggle, clearly there are many bright spots within the CE industry, and consumer enthusiasm for new features and emerging product categories provide reasons for long-term optimism about continued overall growth.”

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Smartphone Shipments
Sales of mobile connected devices – smartphones and tablets – will continue as the top two CE revenue earners this year, representing 35.1 percent of total CE industry revenue, according to CEA. Though revenue growth is slowing, unit sales will continue to rise.

Smartphone industry shipments – the leading category of CE devices in terms of sales – will reach 163.5 million in 2014, an eight percent year-over-year increase, and will generate revenues of $46 billion, seven percent above 2013’s level. Tablet unit sales will reach 80.4 million, four percent higher than 2013’s total, generating revenues of $25.6 billion, a three percent year-over-year decline.

TV set sales are another key driver of CE industry revenues. CEA forecasts that revenues from sales of TV sets and displays will total $18.4 billion, down five percent from 2013.

Within the TV category, Ultra HD TV “is performing better than initially projected in 2014,” according to CEA. Unit shipments of Ultra HD TVs are expected to reach 800,000 this year, generating $1.9 billion in revenue. That’s a whopping 517 percent year-over-year increase. CEA expects Ultra HD TV revenues to exceed $5 billion in 2015.

LCD flat-panel TVs are the third-largest CE industry revenue driver. With unit shipments expected to total 36.7 million this year, LCD TVs will account for 94 percent of all digital display sets sold in 2014. Revenues will come in at around $17.3 billion, “in line with 2013 levels.”

“These top revenue-driving products, namely LCD flat panel TVs and mobile connected devices, can now be found in millions of households in a remarkably short amount of time,” Steve Koenig, CEA’s director of industry analysis, was quoted as saying. “This has resulted in a crowded market, naturally lending itself to slowed revenue growth. Yet we’re at an interesting turning point in technology, as these same products are increasingly adopting premium, differentiating features, driving consumer interest and creating opportunities across other categories in the industry.”

Along with Ultra HD TVs, other emerging CE market products, such as 3D printers, health and fitness devices, smart watches and smart thermostats, will be among the fastest growing categories of CE products, increasing 242 percent year over year in 2014. Commenting on this emerging group of CE products, CEA stated,

“Cumulatively, while the emerging product categories represent less than three percent of the entire CE industry revenue, they are expected to contribute almost $5 billion to the overall CE industry in 2014. That total is an astounding jump from just two years ago, when revenue from these categories was too small to track.”

Added CEA President and CEO Gary Shapiro, ““There has never been a more exciting time for the technology consumer.”

“Across the consumer electronics industry, companies are packing more innovative features than ever into products that have quickly become indispensable – even as the industry continues to introduce breakthrough innovations that are capturing the hearts, minds and imaginations of consumers across the nation. Emerging tech categories including wearable devices, Ultra HD TV and 3D printers are generating tremendous consumer excitement and cementing their place as the next generation of ‘must have’ products.”

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