Boston, MA -- (ReleaseWire) -- 01/28/2014 -- The US consumer electronics market is mature, with high penetration rates in a number of device categories, but opportunities remain. Growth areas include large-size HD TV sets, smartphones, Microsoft Windows 8 tablets and convertibles/hybrids, Ultrabooks, and smart TV sets. Questions still remain about the sustainability of consumption in the absence of strong wage growth. This quarter BMI takes a look at the presence of international and local companies' in the US market.
Headline Expenditure Projections
Computer Hardware Sales: US$131.7bn in 2012 to US$137.9bn in 2013, +4.7% in US dollar terms. Forecast unchanged as shipments of desktops and notebooks remain low and consumers shift spending to lower-cost tablets.
AV Sales: US$70bn in 2012 to US$75bn in 2013, +7% in US dollar terms. There is evidence that US consumers are willing to pay more for features such as 3D and large-screens; however, sales of mid-range flat-screens remain under pressure amid economic uncertainty.
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Handset Sales: US$32.4bn in 2012 to US$34.7bn in 2013, +7.1% in US dollar terms. Forecast unchanged, with Samsung's Galaxy S4 providing a stiff challenge to Apple in H113, and the latter's new iPhone devices released in September 2013.
Key Trends & Developments
- Texas and California are the hubs of the US electronics industry and generate more than 25% of total national exports in this category. Exports from these two states make up a high portion of total US exports of computers and electronics to Mexico, but Asian companies have made inroads in supplying Mexican electronics assembly plants.
- As vendors face the reality of declining desktop and notebook sales, there is a renewed focus on the ecosystem and retail. In June 2013, Microsoft announced that it was partnering with Best Buy to set up a store-within-a-store in 500 locations in the US and 100 in Canada. Microsoft will work with Best Buy to train an additional 1,200 sales associates, as well as supply dedicated Microsoft specialists to the stores. The Microsoft stores will be in direct competition with Apple, which also has stores within some branches of Best Buy. Microsoft's strategy is for the stores to be a location for consumers to try, compare and purchase tablets, PCs, Windows Phones, Office Software and Xbox. The stores will also feature an ecosystem section to market Xbox SmartGlass, SkyDrive and other services.
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