US consumer electronics to grow 7% in 2007

Sales of portable audio players will account for 90% of all audio sales this year, says survey

Surging sales of flat-panel TVs will help the US consumer electronics industry grow by 7% this year over 2006, according to a survey published by the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA).

The survey, which covers factory-to-dealer sales, estimates the US market will be worth US$155 billion this year. Last year it was worth US$145 billion. The figures count the wholesale value of the products and don't include the markup added by dealers.

Behind the strong performance was surging sales of digital consumer electronics such as flat-panel televisions.

Those same products will propel the industry in 2007, says the CEA. The TV industry alone is predicted to be worth US$26 billion as shipments of LCD (liquid crystal display) and PDP (plasma display panel) sets reach 19 million units in 2007 thanks to lower prices, says the CEA.

The next-generation game console market, which has been ignited in the last couple of months by the launch of Sony Computer Entertainment's PlayStation 3 and Nintendo's Wii consoles, will be worth US$16 billion this year. That's a 23% jump over 2006, according to the CEA's prediction.

The home audio market will be worth about US$6 billion in 2007, says the CEA, thanks in a big way to the portable audio market, which includes Apple Computer's smash-hit iPod player and Microsoft's recently launched Zune player. Sales of portable audio players will account for 90% of all audio sales this year and around 41 million players will be shipped, says the survey. About 34 million players shipped in 2006, says the CEA.

Shipments of portable navigation and GPS (global positioning system) devices will total 3 million this year, a 50% jump over 2006, according to the CEA's forecast. The association also says that digital imaging shipments, which covers still and video cameras, will surpass 32 million units to be worth a record US$8 billion.

U.S. factory to dealer consumer electronics sales

Market sizeUS$100 billionUS$113 billionUS$128 billionUS$145 billionUS$155 billion

Source: Consumer Electronics Association estimates. 2007 figure is a forecast.

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