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Bundling Big For Black Friday: CEA

11/11/2009 08:53:34 AM Eastern

New York - Black Friday isn't starting the
day after Thanksgiving this year â€” it's already begun.

That was the
message Shawn DuBravac, chief economist/research director, and Steve Koenig,
industry analysis director â€” both of the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) â€” presented at CEA's annual CES Unveiled press event, held here yesterday.

"Black Friday has
begun early," DuBravac said. "Consumers are starting to go out, which is
consistent with [the idea] that they're shopping around more [this holiday
season]."

DuBravac noted
that while Black Friday has traditionally been about doorbusters, they have
been "seeing some feature-rich devices in the mix" this year, including
Internet-connected TVs. "You see this across a variety of product offerings. It
will be interesting to see which wins on Black Friday â€” lowest price point, or
will [the consumer] be willing to step up for features?"

Bundling will also
be a prominent retail tactic this holiday selling season, Koenig said, pointing
to a Best
Buy computer bundle
offering a netbook, monitor, desktop, router, laptop
and in-home network set-up for $1,199 as a prime example. "Bundling will be in
abundance to get that higher ticket," he said.

Looking ahead to
International CES, Koenig and DuBravac addressed what they believed would be
the largest trends at the show. These included:

  • interactive and 3D
    TV;
  • mobile TV,
    software and packaged media;
  • a new screen-size
    "sweet spot"; and
  • apps and
    accessories.

DuBravac said the
3D TV market was set to grow and that the CEA believed 2010 was the first year
a viable market existed around 3D. Attendees should look for 3D emerging in
other devices, he added. "Watching where else 3D turns up is something to look
for on the show floor."

According to the
CEA, 17 percent of adults have seen a 3D movie in the theater in the past 12
months.

Moving on to the
next trend, Koenig said CES attendees will see a lot of content options on
display. "The fact we have all this content means consumers need a way to
corral it all. One area that really highlights this is the vehicle ... Consumers
want a way to access content in the car," he said.

According to the
CEA, 50 percent of men and 37 percent of women are very or somewhat interested
in listening to Internet radio in their car. Thirty-four percent of men and 29
percent of women are very or somewhat interested in checking their email in the
car.

The third trend to
watch for at CES, the pair said, was the idea of a screen size "sweet spot."
Until recently, the majority of CE devices occupied either the low end of the
screen size spectrum (1 to 5 inches) or the high end (15 inches and larger).
This year, netbooks and e-readers occupied that screen-size void. Show-goers
should look for technology that use that screen size. "A lot of innovation is
left in that part of the screen spectrum," DuBravac said.

Apps and
accessories rounded out the forecasted trends, which went along with CEA's
prediction
that accessories will be the one of the best sellers this
holiday season.

"Apps, in a word,
are omnipresent," Koenig said. "The fact of the matter is this apps phenomenon
is starting to grow across a variety of CE devices ... Apps is the most
frequently spoken word at the 2010 CES."

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