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Global demand for consumer electronics products is expected to slow in 2009, but it will still outperform other industries, according to the Consumer Electronics Assocation (CEA).
Tim Herbert, the CEA's market research senior director, made this semi-optimistic prediction during his Global CE Market Trends seminar here prior to the start of International CES. The CEA, in conjunction with the research firm GFK Group, estimated CE retail sales will hit the $724 billion mark in 2009, up 4.3 percent compared with the $694 billion generated in 2008. The impact the worldwide economic downturn can be seen in the fact that 2008 sales were up 13 percent over 2007, Herbert said.
The CEA study predicted increases in sales in all the major product categories for next year. However, much of this growth will not come from the traditional consumers in North America, Western Europe and Japan, Herbert said.
The CEA projects that the mobile phone category, the largest in consumer electronics and comprising 26 percent of all worldwide CE sales, will see 1.2 billion handsets sold with significant growth in India, Australia and Vietnam and with a major fall off in China and Japan.
TV, which is responsible for 21 percent of all sales, will see 232 million units sold in 2009, up from the 226 million in 2008. North America will be the growth area, with Western European sales tailing off.
The computer category will remain the third-largest CE category, comprising 16 percent of the market, Herbert said. Laptop sales will be the driving force here, with unit sales up 8.2 percent in 2009. Desktop unit and dollar sales will continue to decline.
In addition, the CEA expects Blu-ray sales to double this year and PND unit sales to grow quickly, but generate lower revenue due to falling unit prices.