Driven by tablets, consumer electronics revenue to reach new milestone
The consumer electronics (CE) industry is expected to see sales exceeding $206 billion in 2012, according to a report from the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA®). Driven largely by the success of tablet computers, this growth would represent the first time annual CE sales surpassed the $200 billion mark.
The CEA estimates tablet sales will reach more than $29 billion for the year, representing year-over-year growth of 83 percent. This is also a significant leap from the CEA's January 2012 forecast, in which the trade association predicted tablet sales would reach roughly $18 billion.
"Tablets are the fastest-growing product category in the history of the CE industry, and sales will continue to increase as more products hit the market, offering consumers more choices in size, price, operating systems and app ecosystems," says Steve Koenig, the CEA's director of industry analysis, in a statement.
Tablets aren't the only electronic devices seeing significant growth, however. The CEA also forecasts the continued demand for smartphones, which are expected to see shipment revenues of $33.7 billion in 2012. Like tablets, smartphone shipments have surged in recent years as more people are drawn to the mobile capabilities offered by these devices.
Many industry observers have noted the success of these mobile devices has come at the expense of the traditional PC. However, the CEA states that laptop computer sales in 2012 are also expected to be strong, led primarily by the introduction of the Ultrabook™ computer. In total, the CEA expects laptop sales to reach $14.9 billion.
Others have also noted the impending success of the Ultrabook and similar ultrathin notebooks. Gartner, for example, predicts the ultrathin market will skyrocket in 2013, with nearly 17 million units shipped. Though the devices are still in their early stages, many say Ultrabooks could lead to a resurgence in the PC market.