There is a fairly static theme coming from the 40th Annual Consumer Electronics Show in Vegas that launched this weekend and is on this week, and simultaneously Apple’s (AAPL) MacWorld is going on: consumer electronics and tech aren’t even close to dead.
The CEA (Consumer Electronics Assn.) is looking for factory to dealer consumer elctronics to grow roughly 7% in 2007 from $145 Billion estimated for 2006 to $155 Billion in 2007. The CEA had originally forecast growth at 8% for 2006, but the rate of roughly 13% was hit.
CEA President and CEO Gary Shapiro said in a written release: "We surpassed original projections for the second year in a row, and the industry outlook is proof positive that Americans can’t do without their beloved consumer electronics. Consumers are benefiting from our industry’s innovations and only want to see more of them. I am excited to be witnessing this innovation first-hand on the show floor at the International CES."
Here are just some of the key drivers expected in 2007 from CEA:
Display technologies could hit $26 Billion;
Next generation consoles for video games expected to see a 23% increase from 2006 to some $16 Billion;
The 34 million MP3 units shipped in 2006 are expected to be 41 million in 2007;
PCs, accessories, and digital imaging devices are expected to grow again, with an emphasis on portability.
Those were just some of the blurbs, but Bill Gates of Microsoft (MSFT) really showcased wired homes with smaller terminal PC’s from H-P (HPQ) geared with touchscreens for the kitchen, a Windows Home Server (essentially a family intranet and storage center), and media centers that look more like entertainment centers than PC’s from Sony (SNE).
This media from PC to TV and vice versa is really one of the key focal ports for 2007, and it just has to make you think that if Microsoft is still pushing this so hard then it probably means that Apple’s (AAPL) expected set top box planned (or the Apple phone) should be another huge hit for Forrest Gump’s fruit company.
With all the announcements and partnerships and launches it is going to be difficult to know who the winners and losers are going to be, but as of this weekend it sure seems like there is plenty of room for everyone.
Jon C. Ogg
January 8, 2006