Consumer electronics markets sees growth and recovers in 2010

Global consumer electronics equipment revenue has seen impressive growth in 2010 following a downturn last year, with Blu-ray and LCD TVs leading the way.

Consumer demand has acted as the main force behind the growth, with the overall orginal equipment manufacturer (OEM) revenue for consumer electronics expected to reach $340.4 billion 2010, representing a rise of 6.2 percent from 320.7 billion last year. It is though that this increase will more than reverse the decline in 2009 of 4.4 percent.

The renewed growth is expected to support a further sustained rise over the next four years, with the market seeing increases in revenue ranging from $3bn to $18bn each year, arriving at $385bn in 2014.

“As shown in the early results from Black Friday, consumer confidence levels in 2010 are higher in all regions of the world than they were in 2009, and buyers are more inclined to acquire new devices or upgrade old electronics equipment,” said Jordan Selburn, principal analyst for consumer platforms at iSuppli.

The figures cover products as wide ranging as televisions, DVD players, set-top boxes, digitial cameras, video games consoles and other general consumer appliances. 

However, while nearly every segment of the consumer electronics market has seen growth from the last year, the strongest performers, according to iSuppli data, are LCD TVs and Blu-ray players.

It is thought that 178 million LCD TVs will be shipped overall in 2010, an increase on an earlier prediction of 177 million units, which will mean a revenue of $95 billion.  The continued growth is not considered to be surprising as in 2009, one of the worst years on record for the industry, LCD TV shipments still rose by almot 40 percent. 

With emerging economies also just beginning to see mass take-up of the flat screens it seems there is still plenty of cash to be made in this market.

Blu-ray shipments meanwhile will reach 16.4 million in 2010, representing an impressive increase of 82.2 percent from 9.1 million units in 2009. It is predicted that Blu-ray players will continue to see growth of above 50 percent for the next two years before finally levelling.  By 2014 Blu-ray shipments are expected to reach 68.9 million, an increase of nearly eight times the number seen in 2009.

Interestingly, this boom in Blu-ray players is expected to have limited longevity due to the threat of the disc-based technology becoming obsolete in the future.  With the advent of video games consoles, digital media adaptors and televisions that are ever more capable to stream movies and other video content, and indeed with a public that is increasingly receptive to the idea of streaming such content, the need for an actual disc player could in the coming years become redundant. 

It is even projected that the Blu-ray will have a shorter life than the DVD player in this respect.

Some consumer electronics segments saw weaker growth in 2010, such as the portable media player (PMP) market which is expected to fall short of forecasts.  It is expected that with competition from the increasing sophistication of smartphones PMPs are suffering declining shipments from the peak in 2009.

It is though that while the overall outlook for the consumer electronic market is rosy, the early growth to a fragile economy could unravel if consumers decide to keep their cash in their pockets.

 “Furthermore, inventories of consumer goods are beginning to accumulate. And although overall unit shipments for electronic devices will keep growing in the years ahead, the continual price erosion that is a hallmark of the consumer market will lead to slowing revenue increases after 2012,” said Selburn.