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CEA: Average U.S. Household Spent $120 More On CE

Arlington, Va. — The average U.S. household spent $1,405 on consumer electronics products in the past 12 months, $120 more than the year before, according to new research released by the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA.) The organization’s 10th Annual Household CE Ownership and Market Potential Study is also said to show that HDTVs will have the highest growth in household penetration rates this year.

“More than 50 percent of American homes already own a digital television and it looks like high-definition, or HDTVs, have the potential to match that by the end of the year,” said Chris Ely, CEA’s market research senior analyst, in a release. “With the transition to digital television coming on Feb. 17, 2009, lower prices and an increased awareness of the benefits of high definition, many consumers are deciding to upgrade their televisions.”

According to CEA, cellphones, MP3 players, digital cameras and laptop computers are also helping drive growth in the industry.

The report did find that the average number of consumer electronics products owned per household is down slightly to 24 this year from 25 in 2008; it blamed the proliferation of multifunctional devices for the drop.

“Consumers can now take pictures on their cellphones or watch DVDs using their portable GPS system,” Ely explained. “Consumers also owned dual products for years, such as having a DVD player and a VCR. Now, consumers can transfer their content from one device to be used on another. Taking this into account, we estimate the number of CE products owned by each American household to be consistent with last year’s number.”

According to CEA, the demographics of a household also determine CE purchases. Households with three or more people reported owning 32 devices compared to just 17 for smaller households. Men also tended to own more and spend more on CE products, on average, than women. The study shows the average man reports owning 25 CE devices and will spend over $1,000 on CE products in 2008 compared to the average woman, who owns 21 devices and will spend $600. However, women were found to be far less likely than men to consider CE products in the house “theirs personally.” CEA also found women are also increasingly influencing their households’ CE purchases. Roughly 45 percent of all retail CE purchases in 2007 were made by women at the checkout counter. Consumers 45 years old and younger, those with children in the home and those with higher incomes tend to spend more on CE products than the average adult.

The report also noted continued growth in several categories including flat-panel displays, PCs and video game systems. In fact, CEA said the industry is on pace to outperform last year’s total of $161 billion in overall shipment revenues.

The 10th Annual Household CE Ownership and Market Potential Study was conducted between Jan. 31 and Feb. 4, 2008. It was designed and formulated by CEA Market Research. The complete study is available free to CEA member companies. Non-members may purchase the study for $999 at