EL SEGUNDO, CA — Global consumer electronics equipment manufacturing revenue in 2010 is rebounding from the downturn of 2009, setting the stage for a sustained rise during the next four years, according to the market research firm iSuppli, now part of IHS Inc. (NYSE: IHS).
With consumer demand acting as the primary engine in propelling growth, overall original equipment manufacturer (OEM) revenue for consumer electronics in 2010 is projected to reach $340.4 billion, up 6.2 percent from $320.7 billion last year. The increase will more than reverse the 4.4 percent decline in 2009.
The market will continue to climb steadily during the next four years, adding revenue ranging from $3 billion to $18 billion yearly, ending up at more than $385 billion in 2014.
“As shown in the early results from Black Friday, consumer confidence levels in 2010 are higher in all regions of the world than they were in 2009, and buyers are more inclined to acquire new devices or upgrade old electronics equipment,” said Jordan Selburn, principal analyst for consumer platforms at iSuppli.
The strong versus the weak
Nearly every segment of the consumer electronics market is up from a year ago, but the strongest performers in the consumer electronics space are (liquid-crystal display) LCD TVs and Blu-ray players. Worldwide, more than 178 million LCD TVs will be shipped in 2010—up slightly from earlier projections of 177 million units—bringing in revenue worth almost $95 billion. The growth this year for the superstar segment is not at all surprising: even in 2009—considered one of the worst years in history for the industry—LCD TV shipments rose by almost 40 percent.
Blu-ray player shipments will reach 16.4 million units this year, up a stratospheric 82.2 percent from 9.1 million units in 2009. Blu-ray player shipments will continue to rise at rates exceeding 50 percent for the next two years, after which expansion will moderate and level off. By 2014, Blu-ray shipments will amount to 68.9 million—nearly eight times their 2009 level.
The long-term picture for Blu-ray, however, may not be quite as optimistic as figures seem to indicate. Because other consumer systems such as video game consoles, digital media adaptors and televisions are increasingly able to stream movies and other video content, the need for a physical disc player—even one that plays the highest quality video—might diminish over time, especially as consumers become increasingly accustomed to streaming media. For this reason, iSuppli believes that the Blu-ray player will not enjoy the same longevity as its predecessor the DVD player.
Among the weaker consumer electronics segments, the portable media player (PMP) market in 2010 now is expected to fall short of earlier forecasts. Facing greater competition from other electronic systems like cell phones with multimedia capability, PMPs will suffer declining shipments after what appears to be the market peak for the segment in 2009.
While iSuppli remains optimistic in its consumer electronics outlook, some factors could derail the expected market expansion. “Potential trouble could lie ahead, especially if the fragile economic recovery unspools and consumers decide to withhold precious spending dollars,” Selburn said. “Furthermore, inventories of consumer goods are beginning to accumulate. And although overall unit shipments for electronic devices will keep growing in the years ahead, the continual price erosion that is a hallmark of the consumer market will lead to slowing revenue increases after 2012.”
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