Revenues for the consumer electronics (CE) industry are projected to grow 2.4 per cent in 2014, reaching a new record high of $208 billion, according to The US Consumer Electronics Sales and Forecasts, the semi-annual industry report released by technology trade body the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA). The forecast was announced by CEA President and CEO Gary Shapiro at the 2014 International CES in Las Vegas.
The forecast projects that new, emerging product categories will grow by 107 per cent year-over-year in 2014. These new technology categories, including 3D printers, Bluetooth wireless speakers, convertible PCs, health and fitness devices, smart watches and Ultra-HD television displays, are cumulatively expected to contribute more than $6 billion to the overall CE industry in 2014. While these emerging product categories represent less than three per cent of the entire CE industry, they drive 65 per cent of total industry revenue growth.
“We are at the forefront of a momentous wave of innovation,” said Shapiro. “The incredible growth that emerging product categories such as Ultra HDTV, wearable electronics and 3D printers will experience this year underscores the significant role new technologies play in the total consumer electronics story. These innovations will take centre stage at the 2014 CES this week, and despite a recovering economy, the products on display will push the CE industry to reach new revenue levels in 2014.”
Sales of mobile connected devices, specifically smartphones and tablets, will continue to contribute significant unit sales and revenue to the total CE bottom line in 2014. Although revenue growth has slowed, unit sales will continue to see steady increases.
· Smartphones are expected to maintain their position as the sales leader of the industry in 2014, with unit shipments projected to reach 152 million this year, up from 138 million units sold in 2013. Additionally, smartphone revenues are expected to generate $41 billion in 2014, a 4.6 per cent increase from $39 billion in 2013.
· Unit sales of tablets are projected to reach 89.3 million this year, up from 77.4 million in 2013. Revenues for tablets will reach $27.3 billion this year, up by three per cent.
“In a short amount of time, mobile connected devices have become ingrained and indispensable in consumer’s lives,” said Steve Koenig, CEA’s director of industry analysis. “The market for these products, now found in millions of households, is exceptionally competitive, naturally resulting in slowed revenue growth. Yet we find ourselves at an interesting inflection point in technology, as these same products are creating opportunities and growth across several other categories in the industry.”
Bright spots within the television category will help drive revenue growth this year, as larger screen sizes and innovative display features have consumers upgrading their video experience. Although, total unit sales of displays are predicted to remain even with 2013 levels, total TV sets and display sales are projected to reach $21.3 billion in 2014, up two percent from 2013’s better than expected revenue level of $21 billion.
· LCD flat-panels continue to dominate the total number of sets sold each year. Both unit sales and revenues for LCD displays are projected to increase slightly, with 39 million LCD TVs expected to ship to dealers in 2014, resulting in $19 billion in revenue.
· Innovative features such as Ultra HD and OLED within the display category are beginning to gain awareness. Unit shipments of Ultra HD displays are expected to surpass $1 billion for the first time this year, while OLED displays will reach $836 million.
Elsewhere in the industry, a number of other categories are expected to see positive growth in 2014, including:
· Audio: Soundbars, headphones and Bluetooth wireless speakers remain the standout products of this category. Soundbar shipments are projected to increase 22 per cent to 3.5 million units and reach $676 million in revenue. Headphones are expected to sell 71 million units, earning $1.5 billion in revenue; while Bluetooth wireless speakers are expected to generate $430 million in total revenue in 2014, an increase of 12 per cent year-over-year.
· Automotive electronics: The growth of new vehicle sales in 2014 will drive factory-installed systems to reach $11 billion in revenues, an increase of 20 per cent.
· Electronic gaming: The release of next generation gaming consoles are projected to propel unit shipment growth, up 42 per cent year-over-year, to reach revenues of $5.7 billion in 2014.