Worldwide revenues from consumer electronics are projected to drop 5 percent this year to $906.55 billion, according to market research firm GfK and reported by Hans-Joachim Kamp, chairman of gfu Consumer & Home Electronics, during the inaugural IFA 2016 keynote presentation.
Kamp tried to find silver linings to this seemingly bad news, faulting fluxuations in currency exchange rates, mostly caused by the uncertainty surrounding the Brexit vote. Even with the drop, revenues will exceed 2014’s $872.11 billion in revenues. The 2015 spike to $956.67 billion in revenue was the result of several factors, primarily falling oil prices, according to Kamp.
In addition, many product segments will show significant growth this year. According to Kamp and GfK, global sales of UHD TVs will hockey stick 75 percent this year to 54 million units UHD sets, while OLED set sales will spike an even more vertical 120 percent to 600,000 units. Even unit sales of smart TVs in general are expected to rise a modest 1 percent to 96 million units.
Other growing products markets include wearables, forecast to rise 58 percent to 122 million units; Bluetooth speakers, projected to grow 23 percent to 41 million units; and, worldwide sales of smartphones, still the 800-pound gorilla of consumer technology, will expand by 5 percent to 1.4 billion units.
Continuing to plummet, however, are sales of digital cameras, expected to drop another 22 percent in 2016 to 36 million units.
While revenue from gadgets are expected to be down this year, the IFA show in general will celebrate its 10th straight year of growth. According to Dr. Christian Göke, CEO of the Messe Berlin fairgrounds and convention space, the number of exhibitors will rise to 1,800, a 5 percent rise, occupying 158,000 square meters, also a 5 percent rise. Whether or not the show attracts more than last year’s 40,000 visitors – both trade and consumer – remains to be seen.