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Significant New Trend for U.S. Consumer Electronics

ABI Research surveyed 2024 people in the United States about the consumer electronic (CE) products already in their households (device types and quantity), home networking, and purchase intent (device type, brand, and features critical to the purchase decision).

The results of their latest market study are insightful -- regarding the key trends that are shaping the evolving CE marketplace in America.

Among the significant top-line results, 24 percent of the respondents indicated that their highest-priority purchases over the next six months would likely be of HDTVs (24 percent) and Blu-ray players (17 percent).

About 60 percent of the households surveyed said they already have one HDTV.

According to ABI senior analyst Michael Inouye, "As consumers replace older TVs, there really isn't much choice now but to buy an HDTV, so even if the consumer doesn't necessarily want to view HDTV content, that's usually what they end up with. Prices for HDTVs have fallen quite a bit, and many households are now replacing their second and third television."

Video game consoles rated at the top of the wish-list at 16 percent.

Perhaps a key market indicator, 46 percent of those surveyed said they had no major purchase intentions for the next six months.

In terms of "critical/very important" factors in planned purchases, price was either the most cited or second-most for most devices.

For digital cameras, price was third (zoom range and megapixels were the top two in that category); for portable video game devices screen size and controls were the most critical factors, followed by price.

Price was also a lesser consideration in laptops, exceeded by processor speed, memory, storage capacity, and operating system.

And, perhaps counter to conventional assumptions, the survey showed that for media tablets price ranked only seventh in importance.

ABI Practice director Jason Blackwell adds, "One surprising result in regard to media tablets was that Windows came in second after Apple, and ahead of Android. That probably has more to do with brand awareness than anything else, but it does give some hope to Microsoft."

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