Global CE Sales Near $1 Trillion

By John Laposky On Jan 23 2012 - 6:01am

LAS VEGAS — Global retail sales of consumer electronics fell just short of $1 trillion in 2011, according to the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), and are predicted to hit $1.04 trillion in 2012.

Sales of $983 billion in 2011 were mostly driven by large gains in the still developing markets of India and China, said CEA industry analysis director Steve Koenig, and worldwide year-toyear sales growth is expected to slow to 5 percent in 2012, down from 8 percent in 2011.

The CEA’s forecast, reported in conjunction with GfK Boutique Research, showed a slowdown in sales in the established markets of North America, Western Europe and the developed Asian markets of Japan and Korea, with especially poor results in Western Europe due to the continent’s debt crisis and the continued weakness of the euro.

Aggressive growth in the Middle East, China and India more than made up for the lag, and the still-growing demand for smartphones, tablet PCs and the newest technology TVs in developing markets will continue to drive growth in the year ahead.

Among the trends evident from the forecast: The tablet market is exploding with worldwide sales to consumers expected to reach 88 million in 2012; smartphone sales continue to rise, with demand expected to be remain strong worldwide, as penetration rates have reached only 36 percent; and LCD TV sales are driving the video market, topping 85 percent share of the total category.

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