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CEA: Tablet Sales To Soar, While TV Sales Struggle

7/05/2011 12:01:00 AM Eastern

NEW YORK — Plasma is performing better, but the overall
TV market is still struggling and tablet PCs should be more
popular in 2011 than originally projected.

Those observations were made by of Shawn Dubravac,
chief economist and research director of the Consumer Electronics
Association (CEA), during his “CEA Mid-Year Reality
Check” presentation during the CEA Line Shows exhibition,
held here late last month.

In TVs, CEA projected in January that unit sales would be
down from 2011, at 3.5 percent, through 2014 at 1.1 percent.
DuBravac said that through April, LCD TV sales were down
“3.5 percent, matching our overall unit sales projection.”

However growth for plasma this year has been 5.5 percent,
higher than the originally forecast 4.6 percent.

3DTV unit sales have been up 187 percent through
April, higher than the 65 percent gain predicted in January
by CEA, totaling annual sales of 1.9 million. If sales rates
hold, 3DTV sales should be 3.3 million by the end of the
year, DuBravac said.

He expects 3DTV to perform on the level of other new
technologies introduced in CE and predicted 35 percent to
45 percent of the category’s sales to be generated in the
fourth quarter.

Internet TV has seen unit sales soar 160
percent year to date. The original CEA projection
in January was 5.2 million units, but
if trends hold, it could be 6.3 million units.

But the overall trend for TVs will be down
this year due to a sales drop in smaller
screen sizes, which could be from tablet
PCs. Price erosion, which was projected to
drop 3 percent in LCDs and 9 percent
in plasma, is now down a combined 15
percent year to date.

Speaking of tablet PCs, DuBravac said
CEA’s January projections of unit sales
were conservative — 35 million — even
though 17 million were sold in 2010. Its
newest prediction is 42 million sold during
2011, with fourth-quarter sales being
especially hot with all the new players finally
shipping products in that time frame.

He noted that smartphone and tablet
sales during 2010 supplanted PC sales,
with consumers turning to mobility as a
key feature.

In tablets 20 percent of those households
that do not have one now – 21.2
million in the U.S. – intend to buy one
this year.