What will the hot products be for this fourth quarter?
Fred Towns, New Age Electronics:
With the popularity of the iPad, any type of tablet product, especially with e-reader capability, will be in high demand. Other hot products for the holiday selling season are netbooks, headphones to listen to music and entertainment on handheld devices and PCs, and flat-panel TVs.
Mark Gustavson, WYNIT:
While the economy is technically out of recession, but lagging in consumer confidence, we expect stronger demand for devices that enhance the performance of previously purchased products.
Specific examples include videocapture systems that make it easy to upload to social networks; HDMI monitors and shotgun microphones for shooting production quality video on d-SLRs; high-speed, high-capacity flash memory; and plug-and-play audio and video home-monitoring devices. We are also seeing extensive brandmarketing efforts by some top industry names in anticipation of renewed customer demand.
Warren Chaiken, Almo:
This year we’ll continue to see demand for the usual suspects — flat-panels TV, Bluray, tablets and netbooks, digital cameras and entry-level HD camcorders — with one addition, Apple iPad and iPhone accessories. The recent pace of new product introductions from Apple is driving the continued demand for accessories.
Doretta Raffio, ADI:
Tablet PCs will definitely be the hot category this year. For the custom-install (CI) dealers, this includes all things that make tablet PCs work with home controls. Home audio products will see a slight resurgence as services like Pandora and Rhapsody continue to grow in popularity and streaming media becomes more mainstream. For CI dealers, this means an increase in traditional speaker sales, flat-screen mounts, and Blu-ray and receiver upgrades, as consumers look to expand their home theater living areas.
Doug Robison, DSI Systems:
We think that ultra-thin LED, whole-home DVR, high-speed Internet offerings with DirecTV video products, and Monster Cable’s line will sell well in the fourth quarter.
Rob Eby, D&H Distributing:
Android tablets will make a big showing this year, such as the eLocity A7 and the Archos tablets in different sizes. Plus, tablets are forthcoming from Lenovo, Toshiba, Asus and HP. This will infuse some variety in the market that plays off the success of the iPad. In addition, many consumers will be upgrading their gaming equipment this year due to new launches like Sony PlayStation Move and Xbox Kinect, which integrates the user’s body motions into the gaming experience. Xbox’s new 250GB hard drive will be another popular upgrade option, which can be used to download and store HD movies, music, gaming add-ons and more, and can be purchased with the Kinect.