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U.S. Consumer Electronics Industry to Reach $173 Billion in 2008

The consumer electronics industry will see overall shipment revenues top $173 billion in the U.S. in 2008, according to new data released by the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA). The semi-annual U.S. Consumer Electronics Sales and Forecast shows CE shipment revenues will grow by 7.3 percent this year, reaching more than $183 billion by 2009.

“The CE industry is a backbone of economic activity in this country,” says CEA president and CEO Gary Shapiro. “In a tough economy, consumers turn to CE products for many reasons, from entertaining in the home to telecommuting to save gas. Such factors—and access to global consumers through free trade—help the CE industry to flourish while growth rates of other industries have either stalled or declined. Consumers don’t want to live without CE products and continue to crave the latest gadgets and innovations our industry has to offer.”

This latest forecast increases CEA’s projection for 2008 shipment revenues, last updated in January 2008, by $2 billion. Leading the way are digital displays, with shipment revenues approaching $28 billion. DTV shipments represent 16 percent of all CE shipment revenues. With the switch to digital television occurring on February 17, 2009, unit sales for digital displays will accelerate, climbing 24 percent this year, while retail prices will fall by 11 percent.

“LCD TVs dominate the digital display market,” says Steve Koenig, CEA’s director of industry analysis. “With prices continuing to drop, consumers are deciding the time is right to upgrade to digital. By the end of the year, more than 60 percent of U.S. households will have at least one digital television.”

Videogames also remain a hot category as revenues once again reach record highs. Wholesale revenues for videogames will total more than $21 billion in 2008. Videogame software is the dollar driver, buoyed by a burgeoning installed base of next-generation consoles. With the help of blockbuster gaming titles and franchises, gaming software shipment dollars will grow 27 percent this year and 23 percent in 2009. Portable videogame systems will also shine in 2008 as consumers continue to seek CE products they can use anywhere, anytime.

Consumers’ desire to stay entertained and informed at all times is also propelling smart phones to new levels. Smart phones will see revenue growth of 51 percent this year, comprising 28 percent of total wireless handset shipments.

“Consumers are lining up in front of retail stores to get their hands on the latest smart phones,” says Koenig. “When it comes to cell phones, call and texting features are not enough for many consumers these days. They want the ability to check e-mail, surf the Internet, play games, watch videos, listen to music and navigate to new locations all on one device. Smart phones provide all this and more.”

Providing greater perspective on the industry, the mid-year edition of the U.S. Consumer Electronics Sales & Forecast brings forward brand-new forecasts and analysis. Included for the first time is a technology penetration forecast for U.S. households. Leveraging CEA industry forecasts and consumer research, this analysis illustrates the maximum market potential for core CE technologies. The forecast also features a global perspective. In a joint effort from CEA and GfK research, worldwide retail sales forecasts for 12 major CE categories is included adding insight on global CE sales volumes and growth.

In crafting the forecast for the industry, CEA employs a consensus approach collecting inputs from manufacturers and other industry constituents across the entire CE value chain. The mid-year forecast has the most member participation to date with nearly 90 companies supplying CEA with their take on industry sales volumes and growth.

U.S. Consumer Electronics Sales and Forecasts 2004-2009 (July 2008) is published twice a year, in January and July. It was designed and formulated by CEA, a 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 exclusively at

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