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CEA: CE To Grow 3%

Arlington, Va. – The consumer electronics industry will exceed initial revenue projections for 2010, the Consumer Electronics Association said as part of its sales forecast.

The U.S. Consumer Electronics Sales and Forecast, released semi-annually by CEA, projected growth of 3 percent over 2009, up from the original projection of 0.3 percent, and overall shipment revenues of $174.9 billion in the United States. It also predicted industry shipment revenues will climb 4 percent to reach an all-time high of more than $182 billion by 2011.

According to CEA, much of the growth can be attributed to a handful of product categories — 3DTVs, smartphones, Blu-ray players, e-readers and tablets.

“Innovation in the CE industry is driving consumer enthusiasm, orchestrating a turnaround for our industry and bolstering the overall U.S. economy,” Gary Shapiro, CEA president and CEO, said in a statement. “The response to innovative new products like tablet computers and 3D displays, and continued growth of other product categories, illustrate that consumers love technology. The freedom to innovate delights consumers, sustains our industry and strengthens the economy.”

“The January edition of the forecast was cautiously optimistic about the industry’s return to growth this year,” said Steve Koenig, CEA’s industry analysis director. “Despite a relatively sluggish first half, these innovative product categories have generated a great deal of consumer interest. As a result, we see a stronger second half demand unfolding, and we anticipate a robust holiday quarter.”

The mobile computing category is expected to have a strong 2010 and become the primary revenue driver for the CE industry by 2011, CEA said. It predicted that mobile computing will reach more than $26 billion in shipment revenues by next year, with most of the growth coming from tablet PCs.

Wireless handsets are also seeing continued growth, CEA said, projecting that by 2011, wireless handsets will contribute $26 billion to the industry’s bottom line. Smartphones remain a key driver, with more than 54 million units expected to ship in 2010, an increase of nearly 31 percent, it added.

“By 2011, more than 66 million smartphones will ship to dealers, generating $19.6 billion in revenue.”

Digital displays see major growth, according to CEA, with higher unit sales but less revenue due to “fierce pricing competition.” Shipments of 3D displays will reportedly increase to 2.1 million this year, and shipment revenue will top $2.7 billion. By 2011, more than 6 million units are projected to be sold, generating more than $7 billion in revenue, CEA said.