What Is The Most Significant Development In The CE industry In The Past 25 Years?


“HDTV.” —

Gary Shapiro

, President/CEO, Consumer Electronics Association

“Television has been, in all of its forms, configurations and technologies. The television is the “hub” to such dramatic consumer lifestyle devises as home-theater systems, DirecTV, DVD and Blu-ray players, and blockbuster content like ‘Star Wars’ and ‘Forrest Gump’!” —

Jay Buchanan

, Electronics Division Director, Nebraska Furniture Mart

“I believe the telecommunications category was most important to the industry since it was the foundation for so many subcategories — facsimile, pagers, cellphones, Internet, notebooks and now tablets. Audio and video were the foundation of CE, but telecommunications defined new uses of audio and video.” —

Michael Troetti

, President, Coby Electronics

“Believe it or not, the loudspeaker. With the race to zero with all things electronic and digital, more than any other product, it is this lone bastion of profit that has allowed many us who actually drive the new technologies to survive and prosper. It is like baseball. It is just always there. Simple.” —

Robert A. Cole,

President, Bob & Ron’s World Wide Stereo

“HDTV. And it’s not just TV, after all, its impact has been far-reaching — it started the revolution in broadband data transmission, created affordable high-resolution display technologies, propelled semiconductor processing speeds and capacity improvements, and exponentially boosted the storage media and recorder/player designs and markets.” —

Joseph M. Taylor

, Chairman/CEO, Panasonic Corp. of North America

“While arguments can be made for the PC and handheld phone, the HDTV/flat-panel TV has truly changed the way content is created, distributed and consumed, providing a more immersive entertainment experience at home.” —

Tim Baxter

, President/ CE division, Samsung Electronics

“Television has been the most important category to the CE industry over the past 25 years.”

Marc Sculler

, President, Bell’O International

“Home audio/video has seen the most significant evolution and paradigm shifts in the past 25 years. Analog to digital, tube to panel, DVD to Blu-ray, SD to HD to 3D, and most recently Internet-connected products.” —

Michael Fasulo

, Executive VP/ Sales Operations, Sony Electronics

“The computer. No product has embedded itself into more CE products.” —

David J. Workman

, Executive Director/ COO, Progressive Retailers Organization (PRO Group)

“First is the development of social networks on the Internet and along with them our introduction into living digitally. Initial social-network sites such as Friendster and MySpace fueled the digital imaging revolution as people sought to capture and share their lives through status updates, pictures and videos. The second is the proliferation of mobile devices and our rapid transition to completely digital lifestyles as it has now become possible to update our online digital social networks instantaneously at all times from virtually anywhere.” —

Eliott Peck

, Sales VP/GM, Canon’s Imaging Technologies & Communications Division

“The cellular phone category is the most important to the CE industry in the past 25 years.” —

Peter Brinkman,

Corporate Marketing VP, Casio America

“Large-screen televisions (tube, projection, flat panel) have transformed the home viewing experience.” —

Jim Ristow,

Executive VP, BrandSource/Home Entertainment Source

“Without question, HDTVs — with their widescreen, high-resolution pictures and Dolby Digital sound, transforming the viewing experience and representing the biggest change in television since the introduction of color 40 years earlier.” —

John Taylor,

VP, LG Electronics USA

“The digital mobile devices (2G, 3G, 4G) category has had the greatest impact on the industry and on consumer lifestyle. Mobile devices from smartphones to tablets have changed the way we work, live and play. This connectivity has been a great equalizer, allowing emerging markets and people all over the world to be catapulted into the connected world.” —

Mike Vitelli

, Co-president/Americas, Best Buy

“I have to say the Sony Walkman was the most significant product, let alone category, since it really created the personal CE category of the last 25 years. The Sony Walkman gave birth to the notion that you could have your content with you anywhere, anytime.” —

Jeannette Howe

, Executive Director, Specialty Electronics Nationwide

“The flat-panel TV has had a far-reaching impact — from creating a world of attachment opportunity for so many in the CE business, to changing the way builders design houses around the TV.” —

Michael S. Simmons

, Executive VP, Directed Electronics

“CE’s transition of analog to digital products, such as the first A/V receivers, since they enabled you to get audio programming from the Internet.” —

Tom Campbell

, President, Tom Campbell Enterprises

“The most important CE products in the last 25 years are digital TV, tablets and smartphones.” —

George Manlove

, Chairman, President & CEO, Vann’s

“I think the personal computer, because of the way it has changed people’s behavior and its impact on other products — including A/V products.” —

Tom Sumner

, President, Yamaha Electronics USA

“How broad would we go in describing flatscreen TV? Is it only television or is it the computer monitor? Is it color or 3D? Does everything build around it such as playing DVDs, communication or entertainment? How broad or narrow should we be? Transmission through wires or airwaves of virtually everything has made the world smaller with virtually everything exposed.” —

Con Maloney

, Chairman, Cowboy Maloney’s Electric City

“The product categories that have defined the last 25 years of the CE industry are digital photography and videography, combined with Internet connectivity, which all together have helped enable an explosion of content that can easily be consumed and shared.” –

Paul Ryder

, VP, CE & wireless, Amazon.com

“I believe the home PC is the most important. With its introduction, all other categories of CE were impacted.”

Bill Trawick

, President/Executive Director, NATM Buying Corporation

“Personal computers, since they brought lowcost audio/ visual compression and Internet access to consumers, making products such as MP3 players, digital cameras, wireless networks, connected TVs and online audio/ video distribution channels feasible for day to day use at very low cost.”

Andy Parsons

, Senior VP, Pioneer Electronics (USA)

“The smartphone has been one of the single most important products to the CE industry. The technology has set the stage for innovative software and hardware platforms.”

Jim Bazet

, Chairman/CEO, Cobra Electronics

“The Internet. It continues to change how consumers receive information, shop, to access media and interact with virtually all CE products.” —

David J. Workman

, Executive Director/ COO, PRO Buying Group

“The development and proliferation of the Internet protocol has had the greatest impact on the CE industry by far, allowing a whole new world of access and connectivity through devices like personal computers, tablets, HDTVs and smartphones — people can now be connected to content, friends and family from virtually anywhere, anytime.” —

Mike Vitelli,

President / The Americas, Best Buy

“I would say the iPod. Ever since Apple introduced the iPod, not only was an industry reborn, but it showed that what is possible is only limited by the imagination.” —

Bill Trawick,

President/Executive Director, NATM Buying


“The optical disc, because its high quality and durability motivated consumers to upgrade their audio systems (CDs), invest in large-screen TVs, audio/video receivers and surround sound (LaserDisc, DVD, Blu-ray), and even provided a crucial content platform (CDs) for portable MP3 audio players to launch and thrive with.” —

Andy Parsons,

Senior VP, Pioneer Electronics (USA)

“The merger of connectivity, cable and Internet, giving consumers the ability to reach out and get information is the most significant development in the past 25 years.” —

Tom Campbell

, President, Tom Campbell Enterprises

“The connectivity allowed by the Internet.” —

Gary Shapiro

, President/CEO, Consumer Electronics Association

“The most important development has been the move from analog to digital — from the PC, to HDTV, digital music players, DVD … and beyond.”

— Jay Buchanan

, Electronics Division Director, Nebraska Furniture Mart

“The most significant development in the industry has been the Internet and e-commerce. Consumers now have complete price transparency, which has facilitated enormous price erosion and displacement of many segments of the industry. Moreover, Apple’s stealth innovation and positioning in the traditional CE space is a move many legacy companies did not anticipate.” —

George Manlove

, Chairman, President & CEO, Vann’s

“The Internet’s ‘connectability’ drove new services, features and revenue streams that moved the revenue needle from hardware driven products to software driven products.”—

Mike Troetti

, President, Coby Electronics

“The whole iTunes phenomenon has been the most significant development because it opens up such tremendous potential, allowing consumers to store and access thousands of their favorite songs and enjoy them anywhere, anytime.” —

Noel Lee

, Head Monster, Monster Cable Products

“The rapid pace of technology in both the CE device evolution and the connectivity ecosystem are two significant developments. Analog-todigital conversion and Internetenabled devices would be the two key areas of advancement.” —

Michael Fasulo

, Executive VP/Sales Operations, Sony Electronics

“The changeover from analog to digital was the single biggest development, as it fundamentally changed barriers of entry and competitive landscapes.”—

Jay Vandenbree

, Senior VP and head of the LG Electronics U.S. Home Entertainment Business

“Google’s search algorithm disrupted the industry by empowering consumers with infinite knowledge and raising the bar for the CE sales specialist, while Apple showed there’s still plenty of money to be made if you give consumers the products and shopping experience they want.” —

Michael S. Simmons

, Executive VP, Directed Electronics

“The ability to communicate and source information from virtually anywhere in the world is the most significant development in our industry over the past 25 years. Leading that revolution of course was the introduction of the cellular telephone in the early ’80s. Equally significant has been the iPhone, which took the cellphone experience to the next level, and, of course, now the iPad — products that have propelled Apple into unprecedented growth even in the midst of the recent recession.”—

John J. Shalam

, Founder and Chairman, Audiovox

“The shift from analog to digital products has increased innovation, reduced barriers to entry and caused a real paradigm shift where stand-alone products like TVs, phones, PCs and even home appliances are connected and new product categories, such as tablets, are created.”—

Tim Baxter

, President, CE Division, Samsung Electronics America

“Bit codes. Digital and all it brings but mostly storage, streaming and distribution. It is slowly bringing all things musical and video to the masses with great selection and clarity. The challenge is to make it sound good. This sells better electronics and, you guessed it — speakers.”—

Robert A. Cole

, President, Bob & Ron’s World Wide Stereo

“The Internet has made the most dramatic impact on our industry from accessing music and movie content, gathering information about products, technology and peer reviews. iTunes and music sharing have also revolutionized how we access content, and e-commerce is having a huge impact on how consumers purchase products, creating a new channel of distribution at significant growth levels.” —

Bob Weissburg

, Longtime CE Industry Executive

“Wireless everything, such as mobile phones, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and more. At its heart it is fulfilling the promise of ubiquitous, affordable communications for personal use and for critical and other public services, which in turn contributes to society. It is extending opportunities, improving efficiencies and supporting the free flow of information ... everywhere.”—

Joseph M. Taylor,

Chairman/CEO, Panasonic Corp. of North America

“The development of digital media.”—

Marc Sculler

, President, Bell’O International

“Digital content delivery (CD, DVD, HDTV, Blu-ray, iPod) and now the cloud are the most important developments.” —

Jim Ristow

, Executive VP, BrandSource / Home Entertainment Source

“The evolution of retail — brick and mortar’s expansion and subsequent contraction — and the Internet have the most significant impact on the CE industry in the past 25 years.” —

Peter Brinkman

, VP Corporate Marketing, Casio America

“The most significant development is the Internet. Connectivity has changed everything. Just try living a day without your smartphone!” —

Jeannette Howe

, Executive Director, Specialty Electronics Nationwide

“The advent of the Internet has been the most significant development as it armed consumers with information — some good, some bad — and has really changed the face of CE retailing.” —

Tom Sumner,

President, Yamaha Electronics USA

“I would have to say that the advancements in integrated circuit technology have been the keys to most of the changes we have seen in the CE industry over the last 25 years.”—

Jim Bazet

, Chairman/ CEO, Cobra Electronics


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