Consumer electronics industry shows declining sales

The consumer electronics industry globally is failing to live up to expectations in terms of product sales.

The Consumer Electronics Association, during a press event in Las Vegas yesterday, had little cheer to offer, just hours before the Consumer Electronics Show kicked off in the city.

According to Steve Koenig, director of industry analysis for the Consumer Electronics Association, the wait was now of for the next phase of innovation.

While overall sales of consumer electronics increased 3 per cent across the globe in 2013 to $1.068 trillion, a record for the industry, it was expected to remain flat, if not decline slightly by 1 per cent to $1.055 trillion in 2014.

Sales of smartphones and tablets, which had driven a majority of sales for the electronics biz over the last several years, had tapered off in major markets.

Also while Ultra HD TVs were said to become the next major purchase in the home, sales of the high-resolution screens was not expected to reach significant levels until at least 2017.

Meanwhile, maturing markets in North America, Japan and Western Europe, were not showing much growth anymore since consumers there had already upgraded to the newest devices.

Rather the industry was eyeing Central and Eastern Europe, Latin America, China, India, the Middle East and Africa as potential growth markets.

Global technology sales fell short of expectations last year, and now industry researchers expect them to further decline in 2014.

Meanwhile Koenig, said, with prices of smart phones and tablets starting to come down, overall spending growth was expected to slow markedly this year, placing a big drag on the entire consumer electronics market.

"We're awaiting the next big trend" to rejuvenate the technology market, Koenig said at a press event on Sunday ahead of this week's Consumer Electronics Show. The tech industry conference held every January in Las Vegas is expected to draw 150,000 attendees.

According to research from the CEA and GfK, a German market research firm, sales of consumer electronics products had come in at a projected $1.07 trillion worldwide in 2013. The record amount represented a growth of 3 per cent growth from the prior year and reversed a decline in sales in 2012.

However, it failed to touch the 4 per cent growth that CEA and GfK projected for 2013 last January. Further the growth was very uneven, with the only technology products seeing significant sales growth in dollar terms being smartphones and tablets.

Also,  major market areas such as Western Europe and the developed countries of Asia, including Japan reported declining sales last year.