No Slump for Connected Devices


Connected consumer electronics continue to be a bright spot in the economy. While sales of other product categories remain somewhat stagnant, consumer electronics is growing, thanks in large part to mobile devices.

In fact, the strength of the consumer electronics market has led the CEA (Consumer Electronics Assn.),, to up its yearly revenue projection from what it forecast in January. CEA says the industry is estimated to exceed $190 billion in overall shipment revenues this year, a growth rate of 5.6%. In addition, industry shipments will continue to grow in 2012, reaching $197 billion.

“Innovation continues to drive the electronics industry to record levels, even in the face of declining economic growth overall,” says Gary Shapiro, CEA president and CEO. “Newer, innovative product categories, like tablets, not only meet consumer demand but also help bolster our industry and strengthen the overall American economy.”

CEA says much of the growth in the industry is due to mobile connected devices. For instance, the organization says ereader unit sales will double this year, with more than 16.5 million units being shipped, resulting in $1.8 billion in revenue. Tablets and smartphones are also enjoying increasing sales.

Tablets in particular are seeing interest from many market segments, such as consumer, enterprise, and even government and the military. RIM (Research In Motion),, recently announced its BlackBerry PlayBook tablet received certification for deployment within U.S. federal government agencies. According to RIM, no other tablet has yet gained this FIPS (Federal Information Processing Standard) 140-2 certification.

It is not just during 2011 that analysts expect the connected consumer electronics market to surge. Machina Research,, reports the installed base of M2M connected consumer electronics devices will exceed 4.2 billion by 2020.

The analysts firm also reports by 2020, North America will be the third-largest regional market in terms of device count, with 21% of the market. Europe will be largest, with 29%, and developing Asia-Pacific countries will represent 27% of the market.

Jim Morrish of Machina Research says, “The main driver behind the adoption of M2M connected consumer electronics devices is the potential for connected devices to offer a better user experience than non-connected equivalents.” As long as connected devices can maintain that superior user experience, they seem primed to rule the market.

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