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2010 Consumer Electronics Industry Outlook

Now that CES is over, here's the forward-looking perspective. The consumer electronics (CE) industry will generate more than $165 billion in U.S. shipment revenues this year, according to the semi-annual industry forecast released by the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA).

Gary Shapiro, President and CEO of the CEA, announced the forecast in his opening remarks at the 2010 International CES.

"2009 is a year none of us wish to repeat and now we look forward to 2010. There is light at the end of the tunnel and it is the bright light of innovation," said Shapiro.

"We are seeing more innovation at this show than at any show in our history. There are a record number of new exhibitors, more than 330, among the 2,500 companies showcasing the next generation of technology."

The CE industry will see positive revenue growth in 2010 after a revenue decline in 2009. Total industry shipment revenues fell an estimated 7.8 percent in 2009 although unit volume increased nearly ten percent for the year as consumers bought electronics at a value, limiting industry revenues.

As the economy begins its slow recovery from the recession, the CE industry will lead the way as popular product categories are poised for growth in 2010. The mobile handset category is expected to have a strong 2010, becoming the primary revenue driver for the industry.

Smartphones continue to lead the way, generating nearly $17 billion in shipment revenue and more than 52 million unit sales in 2010. Smartphones comprise more than 30 percent of total mobile phone shipments, with that number increasing in the years ahead.

Sales of computers are also expected to be a bright spot in 2010 as the category continues to be driven by the popularity of netbooks. Netbook sales more than doubled in 2009 as the computer category showed stronger sales than previous forecasts predicted. In 2010, more than 30 million notebooks will be sold, generating more than $14 billion in revenue.

"Smartphones and netbooks are primed for strong growth as consumers continue to seek efficient, portable devices," said Steve Koenig, CEA's director of industry analysis. "With more consumers seeking content anywhere, anytime, the demand for products facilitating these experiences will drive purchases going forward."

Blu-ray players will continue to grow after a strong 2009. Blu-ray unit sales rose 155 percent in 2009 with more than seven million units being sold, generating more than $1 billion in revenue. The trend will continue in 2010, with unit sales projected to top 11.5 million and revenues to increase to $1.4 billion.

The television market has been one of the primary revenue drivers the past several years as consumers made the transition to high-definition, flat-panel sets. Unit sales will climb to more than 37 million in 2010 but price drops will cause display revenue to decline slightly to $22 billion.

Innovation in TV displays, such as 3D, Internet connectivity and OLED technology, will continue to grow and help maintain revenue in the display category. CEA projects sales of more than 4 million 3D television sets in 2010.

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