Tech Spending in 2010 Beats Odds


The housing market, vacation spending, and new car sales may be down, but the outlook for consumer electronics appears to be pretty rosy. While Americans are scaling back to meet their stiffer budgets, technology gadgets do not seem to be hitting the chopping block.

According to research firm Parks Associates,, the U.S. consumer-electronics market experienced an upward trend during the first half of 2010. The latest numbers show that much more than half (63%) of broadband households made at least one tech purchase during this period—6% more than the first half of 2009.

Parks says the average buying household purchased about four consumer-electronics devices in the first half of 2010, spending slightly more than $1,000 per household. Of the device purchased, smartphones were the top purchase across most demographic segments.

The company says smartphones will continue to be the top-selling device through the holiday season and on to the end of the year. Smartphone business is expected to be made up of repeat and first-time buyers, according to Parks.

In fact, the report found 21% of broadband households intend to purchase a smartphone before the end of 2010. Of those planning to buy a smartphone, 28% will most likely purchase an iPhone, 23% prefer BlackBerry, and 20% lean toward an Android-based device.

“The first half of 2010 brought good news for the (consumer-electronics) industry, especially in smartphones and mobile tablet products,” says Tricia Parks, CEO of Parks Associates. “Rates of buying were higher than for the same period in 2009 due to higher consumer confidence … As we approach the holiday season, sales prospects remain tempered but steady, assuming consumers do not shut their wallets completely due to discouraging economic headlines.”

As we approach the holiday season, the demand for consumer electronics and connected devices will most likely continue to drive some dollars into the economy.

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