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Consumer electronics sector approaches $400 billion in annual revenues

January 9, 2019 | By Rande Price, Research VP – DCN

The Consumer Electronic Show (CES), hosted by the Consumer Technology Association (CTA), kicked off this week. The tech extravaganza, which showcases the newest innovation in artificial intelligence, augmented and virtual reality, smart homes, smart gadgets and other futuristic devices, kicked off with confidence in the sector. According to the CTA’s new report, the U.S. consumer technology industry is expected to reach $398 billion in retail revenues this year, registering a modest 3.9% growth year-over-year or about $15 billion. Still, CTA recognizes that revenues may be hurt by trade friction between the U.S. and China.

The CTA’s bi-annual report provides a benchmark for the U.S. consumer tech industry. Overall, the key drivers for revenue growth include Smartphones, laptops, and televisions. Smartphone revenue is expected to reach $80 billion (2% growth year-over-year). Importantly, by 2022, three-quarters (76 percent) of all smartphones sold will be 5G-enabled. Laptop revenue is projected to reach $28.4 billion (flat compared to 2018) and television revenues should increase 2% year-over-year, reaching $22.6 billion. Further, factory install in-vehicle technology is expected to reach $17 billion (9% increase year-over-year). Top consumer requests include driver-assist features such as active collision avoidance and lane keep assist.

New Technologies

In addition, important are the new technologies also contribute significantly to tech revenue growth:

  • Smart speakers including Amazon Echo and Google Home are projected to earn $3.2 billion in revenue (7% increase year-over-year).
  • Smart home monitoring and security is expected to reach $4.6 billion (17% increase year-over-year). This includes smart thermostats, smart smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, IP/Wi-Fi cameras, smart locks and doorbells, smart home systems with smart switches and dimmers and outlets.
  • Wireless earbuds continue to show double-digit growth and are projected to see $2 billion in revenue this year (46% increase year-over-year).
  • Smartwatches, now with a strong focus of fitness, are forecast to reach $4.7 billion (19% increase year-over-year).
  • Drone sales are expected to reach just over $1 billion in revenue (4% increase year-over-year). Increased usage for aerial photography and drone racing is a main factor of increased revenue.Consumer streaming services will also see continued growth in 2019. Total spending on music and video streaming services is forecast to reach $26 billion in revenue, a 25% increase year-over-year. Further, consumer spending on subscription video streaming services is expected to increase to $18 billion in 2019, up 27% year-over year.

As consumers continue to bring connectivity and artificial intelligence (AI) into their everyday lives, personal data becomes an important commodity. It’s essential that the data collection and its protection are transparent processes in the tech ecosystem.

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