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Accessories: No Boundaries

I’m well into my second year as chair of the Consumer Technology Association’s (CTA)™ Accessories Division, and happy to report our division is unified and focused on tackling some of the key issues facing our product categories.

The division continues to believe the transition to the USB-C cable will significantly impact consumers and retailers. As such, we are developing messaging and materials to help guide consumers through the purchase decision. We believe there are considerable benefits to both industry and consumers with adoption of USB-C cables, and want to support a smooth evolution. For more information on the USB-C transition, check out

So why is CTA’s Accessories Division focused on this topic? While tech enthusiasts certainly will be ‘in the know’ and able to make appropriate buying decisions, mainstream consumers who simply want their products to work may be completely unaware of the change. This simple technology evolution will impact many product categories used every day such as phones, computers, laptops, cameras, flash drives and televisions. And, like USB, the Accessories Division touches every product category.

Which leads me to our other focus for 2017: Developing a clear-cut mission statement which will guide the division’s work and initiatives for the coming terms. For the 13 years I’ve been a member of CTA’s Accessories Division, we’ve often had discussions about our industry’s priorities. The industry diversity of our division make up is both a blessing and a curse, as we cover the gamut – from online retail, distribution and private label manufacturing to mounts, power supply, cases, home lighting, cables, camera accessories, gaming and more. The common thread is accessories manufacturers all need to have a keen eye for new opportunities – often driven by technology changes such as USB Type C – be incredibly agile and innovate constantly.

We still believe product categories where disruption, confusion or steep growth is occurring are important. However, with the market growth for augmented and virtual reality, artificial intelligence, drones and smart home products – and the expanding presence of Internet of Things devices always around us – we need to formalize our values and intentions in a mission statement.

If you’d like to be a part of our group, we are always looking to diversify our membership to ensure we continue to represent the ever-changing tech industry. You don’t need to be a CTA board member to contribute – the Accessories Division welcomes any CTA member to participate on our calls and meetings! If you would like to get involved with the Accessories Division – or any other CTA division initiatives – please contact CTA’s Manager of Member Programs, Greg Morrison at [email protected].

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