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The Next Wave Of CE Buyers

The future of consumer electronics, and possibly even print publishing, is in good hands.

I am making this somewhat bold statement after spending Thursday morning as a Career Day speaker at my son’s school. I spoke to my son’s fourth-grade class and two fifth-grade classes, and I was blown away by the student’s general knowledge of CE products, primarily computers.

In each class I gave a 20-minute talk about being a journalist, glossing over the fact that the profession is struggling these days, and how I cover the CE industry. Then I answered questions.

The students were all familiar with the big names in the industry and some of the fifth graders even knew about newer products like netbooks, niche brands like Alienware and the fact that Steve Jobs is ill.

While the vast majority of the kids were interested mainly in video games, some were true geeks-in-training.

One fifth-grader told me he had just bought an Apple MacBook with his own money. His teacher backed up this claim saying the youngster had saved his birthday and other money gifts in order to make the purchase. I believe he is definitely a future Macworld attendee as he vehemently defended Apple against the PC brands available.

I was also happy to hear that there might be a future for my own industry. I asked if any of the kids still read magazines, and almost all raised their hands. The boys leaned toward sports, while the girls mentioned magazines covering entertainers like the Jonas Brothers.

All of this industry knowledge packed into 10- and 11-year-old children certainly bodes well for the future and perhaps should give companies some kind of idea where some of their marketing and advertising dollars should go in the future. Perhaps Nickelodeon?