The consumer electronics industry in the U.S. is expected to grow by an estimated 0.2 percent, according to the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA). A new report notes that revenue should hold steady compared to 2012, largely thanks to an expected 32.2 growth in sales of smartphones and tablets. The group says that connected devices – such as TVs and embedded systems in cars – will also help drive the industry.
CEA President and CEO Gary Shapiro praises the consumer electronics industry for fueling job growth and innovation during “uncertain economic conditions.” He also notes that although industry growth has stayed even year-to-year “the future of the industry remains bright,” pointing to new product categories including Ultra HDTV, wearable technology and 3D printers.
Smartphone shipments should hit 127 million total units for more than $37.8 billion in revenue for the year, up 14 percent from 2012. Tablet sales should hit 87.1 million units for $27.3 billion in revenue. Audio units are also expected to jump to 11.4 million units shipped, up 11 percent from last year, while soundbar shipments alone could increase 40 percent to 2.8 million units. Drivers want more tech in their cars, too. Sales revenue for new factory installed technology within cars should hit $9.2 billion this year, according to the CEA’s forecasts.
“Although the consumer tech industry is largely immune to the degree of turmoil experienced by other sectors, CE is not entirely impervious to the bigger picture,” CEO’s chief economist and senior director of research Shawn DuBravac explained. “The front half of 2013 brought slower than anticipated economic growth in the U.S. driven by the fiscal drag of sequestration and expiration of the payroll tax, while the back half brings more tempered expectations for economic growth. However, the rest of 2013 should find itself on firmer footing, with several forthcoming product launches which should propel growth in the second half of 2013, through the holiday season and into 2014.”
What kind of new devices can we expect? Google also treated us to the new Nexus 7, but a Nexus 10 tablet is expected soon. In addition, Apple will likely introduce two new iPhones and refresh its large iPad and iPad mini before the holiday season. Add in the Moto X, the LG G2 and several other incoming devices and we certainly have a busy end of the year ahead.