Trillion-dollar forecast for gadget sales

Jan 05, 2011 by Chris Lefkow
A woman speaks on her mobile phone in Beijing. With a mjaor US consumer electronics trade show set to open this week, organizers are forecasting that global gadget sales may top one trillion dollars this year for the first time ever.

As the top US consumer electronics trade show prepares to open this week, organizers are forecasting that global gadget sales may top one trillion dollars this year for the first time ever.

The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) said Tuesday that worldwide annual spending on mobile phones, computers, television sets and other items is expected to rise 10 percent in 2011 to 964 billion dollars.

"We may very well hit the trillion mark," said Steve Koenig, director of industry analysis for CEA, organizer of the annual (CES), which kicks off in Las Vegas on Thursday.

"I'm bullish," Koenig told reporters. "That number is truly within reach."

Sales of smartphones, touchscreen tablet computers, electronic book readers and flat-panel liquid crystal display (LCD) television sets are among the items expected to power the industry to record heights.

Many of the latest devices will be on display on the sprawling show floors at the Las Vegas Convention Center, where the four-day event is expected to attract more than 125,000 visitors from around the world and 2,600 exhibitors.

The CEA said it expected consumer electronics sales to grow by 23 percent in Western Europe this year and 15 percent in both North America and China.

Growth for Asia -- excluding China and Japan -- was forecast at 12 percent.

Consumer electronics sales were expected to increase by 10 percent in South America, eight percent in Japan, seven percent in Africa, five percent in Eastern Europe and four percent in the Middle East.

Consumer electronics sales increased 13 percent in 2010 to 873 billion dollars after falling nine percent in 2009 in the depths of the .

CEA chief economist Shawn Dubravac said smartphones and tablet computers like Apple's popular were expected to be among the hottest items in 2011.

"The standard handset is a declining market," Dubravac said. "All the growth you see is in smartphones."

A woman tries out a new Samsung "Galaxy" at a consumer electronics fair in Berlin. Consumer electronics sales increased 13 percent in 2010 to 873 billion dollars after falling nine percent in 2009 in the depths of the recession.

The CEA forecast that sales would double this year over last year to around 30 million units while e-readers such as Amazon's Kindle would ring up sales of nearly 20 million units worldwide.

"Tablets will be one of the key themes at this year's show," Dubravac said, as technology companies seek to emulate the success of Apple's iPad.

"I wouldn't be surprised if we saw 100 plus tablets at CES," he said, adding that the optimal price point for the devices appears to be around 350 dollars.

The CEA said mobile computers -- which include tablets -- will account for 220 billion dollars in total personal computer sales of 316 billion dollars in 2011, with desktop computers accounting for the remaining 96 billion dollars.

Web-connected televisions are expected to see continued growth with the CEA forecasting that 52 percent of TV sets sold in 2014 would allow users to access the Internet.

Just nine percent, or 3.2 million, of the TV sets sold last year were Internet-enabled, according to the CEA, a figure expected to jump to 15 percent, or 5.2 million, in 2011.

While Web-connected TVs are expected to take off and LCD TV sales are forecast to remain strong, 3D television sets have yet to catch on, in part because they are still considered to be too expensive, Dubravac said.

He added that an emerging trend across devices -- from smartphones to tablet computers to TV sets -- was the increasing popularity of the dedicated mini-programs known as applications.

"Apps are huge," he said.

Half of all mobile device owners use applications, according to a CEA study, with communications, weather, maps, music, news, games and social networking among the most popular.

"We'll see a lot more shopping apps," said Ben Arnold, CEA's senior research analyst. "Apps that empower consumers."

Explore further: Weibo shares jump in market debut

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Record US holiday spending on gadgets: CEA

Oct 19, 2010

Americans will spend a record amount on consumer electronics this holiday season, devoting nearly a third of their gift budget to gadgets, the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) said Tuesday.

Tablet computer sales to hit 208 million in 2014

Oct 15, 2010

Sales of tablet computers like Apple's iPad are expected to soar from nearly 20 million units this year to 55 million next year and over 208 million in 2014, market research firm Gartner said Friday.

PC sales to grow 20 percent in 2010: Gartner

Mar 04, 2010

Worldwide sales of personal computers are expected to grow nearly 20 percent this year over 2009, with laptops driving new sales, research group Gartner said on Thursday.

Tablets taking bite out of PC sales: Gartner

Nov 29, 2010

Worldwide personal computer sales are on track to set a new record this year but tablets like Apple's iPad are taking a bite out of the sector, technology research firm Gartner said Monday.

Analysts: 3-D TV sales not as high as expected

Oct 13, 2010

(AP) -- Sales of 3-D TV sets have been weaker than expected this year, as 3-D content is lacking and overall TV sales in North America are slack, research firm DisplaySearch said.

Recommended for you

Venture investments jump to $9.5B in 1Q

2 hours ago

Funding for U.S. startup companies soared 57 percent in the first quarter to a level not seen since 2001, as venture capitalists piled more money into an increasing number of deals, according to a report due out Friday.

Weibo IPO below expectations, raises $285.6 mn

Apr 17, 2014

Sina Weibo sold fewer shares than expected in its US IPO which was priced below expectations ahead of a Thursday listing that takes place after tech selloffs on Wall Street.

'Chief Yahoo' David Filo returns to board

Apr 17, 2014

Yahoo announced the nomination of three new board members, including company co-founder David Filo, who earned the nickname and formal job title of "Chief Yahoo."

User comments : 0

More news stories

Venture investments jump to $9.5B in 1Q

Funding for U.S. startup companies soared 57 percent in the first quarter to a level not seen since 2001, as venture capitalists piled more money into an increasing number of deals, according to a report due out Friday.

Hackathon team's GoogolPlex gives Siri extra powers

(Phys.org) —Four freshmen at the University of Pennsylvania have taken Apple's personal assistant Siri to behave as a graduate-level executive assistant which, when asked, is capable of adjusting the temperature ...

White House updating online privacy policy

A new Obama administration privacy policy out Friday explains how the government will gather the user data of online visitors to WhiteHouse.gov, mobile apps and social media sites. It also clarifies that ...

Scientists tether lionfish to Cayman reefs

Research done by U.S. scientists in the Cayman Islands suggests that native predators can be trained to gobble up invasive lionfish that colonize regional reefs and voraciously prey on juvenile marine creatures.

Leeches help save woman's ear after pit bull mauling

(HealthDay)—A pit bull attack in July 2013 left a 19-year-old woman with her left ear ripped from her head, leaving an open wound. After preserving the ear, the surgical team started with a reconnection ...