CEA Gives 2009 Forecast

Gary Shapiro, head of the Consumer Electronics Association, the organization behind CES, gave his 2009 forecast for the industry as the show opened, and was hopeful even in economically bleak times.

“The CE industry is resilient but not immune from the business cycle. In a tough economy our products offer high value for entertainment and an entry point for entrepreneurs creating new businesses,” he said. “Innovation will kickstart the economy. The 2009 International CES is a cause for optimism with some 20,000 new products and 300 new exhibitors.”

CEA’s estimate of final shipment revenues for 2008 showed the industry reached a new high of $172 billion, an increase of 5.4% over 2007. For 2009 overall, CEA projects that domestic shipment revenues will essentially remain flat at $171 billion, a decrease of 0.6% over 2008.

The prediction is that digital TVs will help drive the industry, along with Blu-ray players and gaming, while smartphone revenues are expected to increase by 20%.

“Consumers continue to seek the best picture, sound and entertainment experience available,” said Steve Koenig, CEA’s director of industry analysis. “With a majority of U.S. homes owning an HDTV, consumers are looking to add high-definition content through Blu-ray players, gaming devices and home audio systems.”

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