CEA Expects Sector to Yield a Record $186 Billion in 2011

LAS VEGAS: The consumer electronics industry will reach a new industry peak in 2011, with revenues exceeding $186 billion, the Consumer Electronics Association says in its semi-annual forecast. Industry revenues also had a stronger than anticipated 2010, growing six percent. CEA chief Gary Shapiro announced the numbers in his opener at the big Show in Vegas.

Total CE industry revenues rebounded last year with growth that doubled July 2010 predictions. The industry will end 2010 with six percent growth to $180 billion. The CE industry will continue to see positive growth in 2011, with revenues growing more than three percent and reaching a new industry high of $186.4 billion.

New gizmos such as computer tablets, eReaders and smartphones added to the growth. Personal computer sales led the way in 2010, becoming the industry’s primary revenue driver for the first time. Led by mobile computing, shipment revenues for personal computers increased 34 percent in 2010 to $29 billion, more than 16 percent of overall industry revenues.

The category is projected to keep growing this year, with nearly 59 million units being shipped to dealers and revenues of $32 billion projected. Within the personal computer category, mobile computing--especially tablets--saw strong growth in 2010, with revenues climbing 35 percent to more than $21 billion. Tablets represent a little less than a third of all mobile computing revenues in 2010 and will claim a 36 percent share of shipment dollars in the category in 2011.

The wireless handset category was also a bright spot in 2010 and will see continued growth in 2011. Smartphones continue to lead the way, generating nearly $18 billion in shipment revenue with more than 55 million unit sales in 2010. In 2011, smartphone revenues are expected to increase nearly 20 percent to more than $21 billion and 72 million units are projected to ship to dealers.

Sales of total digital displays fell for the first time, with U.S. household penetration over 70 percent. DTV unit sales were down one percent in 2010, a result of market maturation and saturation. Internet-connected TVs were a bright spot within the display category. Unit sales grew 151 percent in 2010, resulting in more than $4 billion in shipment revenue. In 2011, sales will grow 63 percent and exceed $5 billion in revenue.

3DTVs will also see steady growth in 2011 as increased content from video games, Blu-ray movies and TV events, especially sports, will drive growth. 3DTV unit sales grew 91 percent in 2010 to 1.1 million units and will grow another 67 percent in 2011 to 1.9 million units.

With high-definition displays now solidly established in American homes, more consumers are upgrading their audio experience. Home audio unit shipments are up 27 percent in 2010. Overall, in-home technologies are up 5.8 percent as consumers continue to integrate their existing HD displays with other HD sources, such as surround sound, Blu-ray players and set-top boxes.