Revenues for the consumer electronics (CE) industry are projected to grow 2 percent in 2014, reaching a record high of $211.3 billion, according to U.S. Consumer Electronics Sales and Forecasts 2010-2015, the semi-annual industry report released by the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA).
Sales of mobile-connected devices, specifically smartphones and tablets, continued to stand as the top two revenue drivers of the CE bottom line in 2014.
These two devices alone are expected to represent 35.1 percent of total CE industry revenue in 2014,and although revenue growth for this category has slowed, unit sales are projected to continue to see increases, according to the report.
Unit sales of tablets are projected to reach 80.4 million this year, a 4 percent increase from 77.4 million in 2013. Revenues for tablets will reach $25.6 billion this year, down 3 percent.
As the sales leader of the industry, smartphone unit shipments are projected to reach 163.5 million this year, up 8 percent from the 151 million units sold in 2013.
Additionally, smartphone revenues are expected to generate $46 billion in 2014, a 7 percent increase from $43 billion in 2013, the report found.
"These top revenue-driving products, namely LCD flat panel TVs and mobile connected devices, can now be found in millions of households in a remarkably short amount of time," Steve Koenig, CEA’s director of industry analysis, said in a statement. "This has resulted in a crowded market, naturally lending itself to slowed revenue growth. Yet we’re at an interesting turning point in technology, as these same products are increasingly adopting premium, differentiating features, driving consumer interest and creating opportunities across other categories in the industry."
Although CE industry revenue growth has slowed in recent years, from 7.7 percent in 2011 to 1.7 percent in 2013, total revenue crossed $200 billion for the first time in 2012 and shows no signs of retreating below that milestone.
In addition, while the emerging product categories represent less than 3 percent of the entire CE industry revenue, they are expected to contribute almost $5 billion to the overall CE industry in 2014.
That total represents an impressive jump from just two years ago, when revenue from those categories was too small to track.
"There has never been a more exciting time for the technology consumer," Gary Shapiro, president and CEO of the CEA, said in a statement. "Across the consumer electronics industry, companies are packing more innovative features than ever into products that have quickly become indispensable – even as the industry continues to introduce breakthrough innovations that are capturing the hearts, minds and imaginations of consumers across the nation."