Wednesday, January 8, 2014

CES: Consumer Electronics Could Grow To $208 Billion Industry in 2014

Carolyn Giardina/Billboard

The Consumer Electronics Association predicts that CE revenue in the U.S. could grow 2.4 percent to $208 billion in 2014.

And that might include $6 billion in sales stemming from emerging categories such as 3D printing, health and fitness devices, smart watches and Ultra HD, reported CEA president and CEO Gary Shapiro during his keynote Tuesday at the International CES. The figures come from CEA’s U.S. Consumer Electronics Sales and Forecasts, an industry report also released on Tuesday.

Underscoring this expected growth, Shapiro reported during his keynote that 2014 marks the largest CES ever with more than 2 million sq. ft. of exhibit space. That includes technologies that reflect CE trends in areas that are “improving our lives” including wearable technologies, driverless cars and the Internet of Things. “New product and services are creating totally new industries overnight, but innovation goes hand in hand with disruption.”

To that end, he warned that this innovation is “too important to be choked by laws written long ago.” He cited Aereo, Uber and Dish as companies that are “threatening the establishment.”

He emphasized a need to “remove barriers” as “innovation requires free trade and a marketplace that encourages investment." As one example of CEA's work, Shapiro reported that it's urging the passage of a bill to address the “patent control extortion market. Some say we should slow down before addressing patent abuse. We say it must stop immediately.”

According to the U.S. Consumer Electronics Sales and Forecasts report, smartphones are expected to remain the sales leader for the industry in 2014, with unit shipments projected to reach 152 million this year, up from 138 million units sold in 2013. Smartphone revenues are expected to generate $41 billion in 2014, a 4.6 percent increase from $39 billion in 2013.

Unit sales of tablets are projected to reach 89.3 million this year, up from 77.4 million in 2013. CEA projects that revenues for tablets could reach $27.3 billion this year, up by three percent.

TV sets and display sales are projected to reach $21.3 billion in 2014, up two percent from last year. CEA believes that will include growth in Ultra HD display sales, which it expects to surpass $1 billion for the first time this year, while OLED displays could reach $836 million.

Other expected growth areas include new gaming consoles, with unit shipments projected to increase by 42 percent over 2013, to reach revenues of $5.7 billion; automotive electronics, with new vehicle sales in 2014 expected to reach $11 billion in revenues, an increase of 20 percent; and audio technologies including soundbars, headphones, and Bluetooth wireless speakers.

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