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The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) is forecasting a slight increase in full year factory sales to retailers for 2010, a gain of 0.3 percent to $165.3 billion.
The forecast is virtually flat with CEA's most current estimate of 2009 factory sales to retailers in the U.S., $164.9 billion, a decline of 7.8 percent. To give that estimate some perspective, a year ago at CES, CEA estimated that 2009 sales would be down 0.6 percent for the year.
The 2010 forecast and the 2009 estimate are a far cry from 2008, when actual factory sales to dealers were $178.9 billion, up 6 percent prior to the previous year, and 2007, when sales were $168.8 billion, representing an increase of 7.9 percent over the prior year.
In a statement on the forecasts to the TWICE, CEA said that while 2009 challenged and pressured the consumer electronics industry, it also highlighted its “resilience, flexibility and entrepreneurial spirit.” Consumers were still demanding technology, as 80 percent of consumers wanted a CE gift this past holiday, but they were on a quest for value as budgets decreased.
“This new value dynamic will persist into 2010, placing pressure on industry revenue growth. Demand is in abundance. The issue facing the industry is meeting that demand profitably,” CEA said.
CEA projected growth in key categories in during 2010. That includes e-books, which should experience 100 percent year-over-year growth to $1.08 billion in sales.
Blu-ray players will have strong unit growth in 2010, to 11.5 million units, compared with 7.1 million in 2009, CEA estimated. In terms of revenue, CEA expected Blu-ray players to reach $1.4 billion in revenue in 2010 — 35 percent growth compared to $1.036 billion in 2009.
Smartphones are expected to have 13 percent revenue growth in 2010, to $16.9 billion, compared with $14.9 billion in 2009.
And in the combined notebooks/netbooks category there should be 5 percent growth in 2010, to $14.3 billion, from $13.5 billion in 2009. Netbooks accounted for 18 percent of total computer revenue in 2009. “In 2010, we expect netbooks to account for 24 percent of total computer revenue,” CEA said.
Retailers contacted by TWICE over the past few weeks are expecting a push for 3D HDTVs in 2010, along with, equivalent Blu-ray decks, for the industry to make IPTV a mainstream product, and competitively priced and stylish LED TVs.
This TWICE webinar, hosted by senior editor Alan Wolf, will take a look at what may be the hottest CE products at retail that will be sold during the all-important fourth quarter. Top technologies, market strategies and industry trends will be discussed with industry analysts and executives.