LAS VEGAS - When the United States sneezes, the world gets a cold.
This was the theme of one of the Consumer Electronics Association's opening presentations for International CES, held here this week. CEA kicked off the pre-show events on Tuesday night with two topics - the CEA State of the Industry and the 2010 Global CE Sales Forecast - both of which had the economic current recession clearly at the forefront.
Shawn DuBravac, CEA chief economist and research director, who was accompanied by Ben Arnold, CEA senior research analyst for CEA, noted that 2009 was a "very difficult year" and expected that 2010 would be a year of recovery.
Although this year's CES had more new exhibitors than ever before, DuBravac said, he tempered this by adding that many of this year's exhibitors will be holding back introductions until the economic environment improves.
DuBravac and Adams also detailed the four main trends(
) they predicted would be present at this year's CES. These included:
Â· 3D TV and connected displays;
Â· Mobile TV and packaged media;
Â· a new screen size "sweet spot"; and
Noting that 3D TV has already been a topic of conversation in shows past, DuBravac said, "This year we're taking the next step in 3D ... What's important is that these will be products that are ready for market. They're going to come to market, they're gong to have price points, they're going to have specifications. It's not just going to be manufacturers talking about release dates. We'll get a sense of what the premiums will be, what the displays will look like ... We'll see a lot of content deals."
Steve Koenig, CEA industry analysis director, and Chris Ely, CEA senior analyst, presented the 2010 Global CE Forecast, predicting flat overall revenues.
Explaining that the global economy had been on an "impressive" track record for growth until the recent recession struck, Koenig said, "The global economic recession really impacted revenues in 2009. Here in 2010, as the world starts to recover, we're anticipating flat overall revenues, at least at this stage. Even as established and developed economies return to growth or less decline, will that growth be enough to pull up that global picture? Our analysis suggests not."
North America was hit hardest of all, Ely said, and although Japan, China and Asia (which included India in CEA's research) saw growth, it was not enough to pull up what was missed by North America.
"North America, and the United States in particular, sneezes, and the world gets a cold," he added.
Although North America is starting to show signs of improvement, Western Europe will be more deeply affected in 2010, Koenig forecasted, with the global recession "starting to work its way" through the rest of the world.
Koenig also predicted that the Asian economies would overtake the North American economies. "Everyone knows that China is an enormous market and there's an enormous opportunity there ... Meanwhile, [the U.S.'s] share of the global pies will continue to shrink," he said.