Consumer Electronics Industry Issues 2009 Forecast

Thursday, January 8th, 2009
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LAS VEGAS — The consumer electronics industry is projected to generate $171 billion in U.S. shipment revenues in 2009, according to the semi-annual industry forecast released by the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA)®. CEA President and CEO Gary Shapiro announced the forecast today in his opening remarks at the 2009 International CES®, the world’s largest consumer technology tradeshow.

“The CE industry is resilient but not immune from the business cycle. In a tough economy our products offer high value for entertainment and an entry point for entrepreneurs creating new businesses,” said Shapiro. “Innovation will kickstart the economy. The 2009 International CES is a cause for optimism with some 20,000 new products and 300 new exhibitors.”

The CE industry continued to grow in 2008 despite the economic downturn. CEA’s estimate of final shipment revenues for 2008 showed the industry reached a new high of $172 billion, an increase of 5.4 percent over 2007. In 2009, overall, CEA projects that domestic shipment revenues will essentially remain flat at $171 billion, a decrease of 0.6 percent over 2008.

The primary revenue driver for the industry continues to be digital TV displays, representing 15 percent of total industry shipment dollars. As the transition to digital television nears, unit shipments of DTVs will approach 35 million in 2009, an increase of nearly 6 percent over 2008 shipments. LCD displays remain the top choice among consumers, representing 77 percent of total DTV units.

With the format war now settled, Blu-ray players are expected to see major growth in 2009. With more content, new products and lower prices, Blu-Ray revenues are projected to surpass $1.2 billion.

The gaming category also remains a bright spot in the CE industry and an increasing component of consumer spending. The overall video game market should grow 11 percent, generating nearly $22 billion in revenue this year, a new high mark for the category. Software continues to drive the gaming market, helped by a growing installed base of next-generation consoles. Gaming software revenues are expected to grow 18 percent to nearly $15 billion.

“Consumers continue to seek the best picture, sound and entertainment experience available,” said Steve Koenig, CEA’s director of industry analysis. “With a majority of U.S. homes owning an HDTV, consumers are looking to add high-definition content through Blu-ray players, gaming devices and home audio systems.”

The updated sales and forecast report also shows consumers are turning to smartphones as their mobile phone of choice. Smartphone revenues will continue to grow this year, increasing nearly 20 percent this year, to $13.6 billion. As carriers increase the speed of their networks and offer new services in addition to communication, smartphones will account for more than 60 percent of total handset revenues.

U.S. Consumer Electronics Sales and Forecasts 2004-2009 (January 2009) is published twice a year, in January and July. It was designed and formulated by CEA, the most comprehensive source of sales data, forecasts, consumer research and historical trends for the consumer electronics industry. Please cite any information to the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA)®. The complete report is available free to CEA member companies. Non-members may purchase the study for $2,000.