Women, Not Men, Are Primary Electronics Consumers

Women, Not Men, Are Primary Electronics Consumers
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March 6, 2007 From politics to technology, women have played a vital role in shaping today’s society. Some of these achievements and other various tidbits are being highlighted during International Women’s Day on March 8. In regards to the technology spectrum, the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) reports that women are the primary consumers when it comes to wireless gadgets and gizmos. According to CEA officials, women are outspending men in electronics purchases US$55 billion to US$41 billion. The trade organization also reports that women influence 90 percent of consumer electronics purchases which amounts to a lot of money when factory-to-dealer sales of consumer electronics are projected to exceed US$155 billion in 2007.

"The consumer electronics (CE) industry has outdone itself once again, with revenues totalling US$145 billion in 2006, and we're on track for another year of healthy growth," said CEA President and CEO Gary Shapiro. "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.”

CEA projects that display technologies will continue to be the star category in the industry and account for US$22 billion in revenues for 2007. All television sets manufactured today with an analog tuner must also contain a digital tuner, which is largely responsible for the vast increase in digital television sales. Unprecedented price declines in plasma and LCD displays are also contributing to growth. For 2007, these flat panel displays are expected to ship a combined 19 million units.

Next-generation consoles will make the video game market one to watch in 2007. An analysis of year-end game console sales reports for 2006 indicates that holiday sales will lift revenues in 2007 to US$16 billion, a 23 percent increase.

MP3 players continue to drive the audio market. CEA projects that MP3 players will account for 90 percent of the US$6 billion in revenues for the portable entertainment market. Thirty-four million MP3 players shipped in 2006 and an additional 41 million are expected to ship in 2007.

"One of the biggest drivers of both the audio and portable entertainment markets is the MP3 player. It continues to ship at large volumes and 2007 will be no different as the market shifts into a replacement mode. For example, many consumers will be replacing their first generation players with new players offering video playback capability," said Thibodeaux.

Driving the mobile electronics market are portable navigation and GPS devices, evidence that consumers are continually looking for products that will keep them safe and make their automotive travel easier. Two million units shipped in 2006, a 66 percent increase over 2005, and 2007 shipment volumes will continue to propel the market with three million units projected to be shipped, generating US$1 billion in revenues.

Other product categories that will see substantial growth in 2007 are PCs, accessories and digital imaging devices. In 2006, shipment volumes of laptops eclipsed their desktop counterparts. CE accessory sales also will grow in 2007, to the tune of US$11 billion, in large part due to an overall consumer emphasis on portability. Total digital imaging shipments are expected to exceed 32 million units, with revenues projected to reach $8 billion, making 2006 and 2007 the best revenue years for this category.

"U.S. Consumer Electronics Sales and Forecasts 2002-2007" (January 2007) is published twice per year, in January and July. It was designed and formulated by CEA Market Research, the most comprehensive source of sales data, forecasts, consumer research and historical trends for the consumer electronics industry.

The complete report is available free to CEA member companies. Non-members may purchase the study for US$499 here.

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