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CE Sales Should Pass $200B In ’12

LAS VEGAS – 2012 will mark the first year that factory sales
of consumer electronics will exceed $200 billion annually.

Today Gary Shapiro, president/CEO of the Consumer
Electronics Association (CEA) will announce during his keynote at the Venetian,
Level 5, Palazzo Ballroom at 8:30 a.m. that projected 2012 sales will be $202.4
billion, up 3.7 percent over 2011’s estimated $195.2 billion, which represents
a 7.9 percent gain.

In a pre-show briefing with the Official Daily of CES Steve
Koenig, director, industry analysis, went over some of the product trends that
should take CE factory sales over the $200 billion.

In a trend that began in 2011 Koenig said, “There will be
strong opportunities for mobile products – tablets and smartphones.” For
instance tablet factory sales should be $18.3 billion this year, in the “home
information technologies and securities” category of the chart at right. And
smartphones will generate $33.7 billion in factory sales in the “portable
communication” category.

“The Ultrabooks at CES… are the unknown at this stage,” with
plenty of new products being introduced that will compete against tablets,
Koenig said. 

He also noted that the trend towards mobile payments will be
big this year along with “a raft of quad processor HD smartphones.”

Factory sales of TV sets and displays should reach $17.2
billion in 2012, down 6.5 percent, even though unit sales should increase. The
introduction of Apple TV, more than likely in the larger screen sizes sometime
later this year, will have a “serious impact on incumbent suppliers,” Koenig

“Anyone competing in that space will be adversely affected,”
he noted. “If you assume [Apple taking] a 10 or 15 percent market share that
means for existing suppliers they will be fighting for a smaller slice of a
smaller pie.”

For Apple, since it is a “premium brand selling at a premium
price point… won’t matter. As we have seen the Apple buyer will pay for the
product and pay for the experience. [The price] will not be a stumbling block.”

Another category worth watching in 2012 will be in-vehicle
technologies which should grow by a projected 8.7 percent.

Koenig noted, “Car internet radio and streaming audio for
the aftermarket is something to watch, as well as app-enabled head units. They
could be game changers.”

He added, “Connectivity and having apps is significant will
help replicate the user experience they have with smartphones in the vehicle.
Consumers want consistent experiences with their devices… at home, on the go, or
in the car. They want the same experience and be able to access same data and
entertainment” in all three places.