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CEA: Sales Flat In 2010

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

DuBravac and Adams also detailed the four main trends(

previously discussed by CEA

they predicted would be present at this year’s CES. These included:

3D TV and connected displays;

Mobile TV and packaged media;

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

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

“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.