The industries globally are witnessing tectonic shift ranging from manufacturing practice to the product itself. Artificial intelligence (AI) and fast connectivity, are becoming critical ingredients for the next era of category leaders such as smartphones, smart home devices and smart speakers.
According to the Consumer Technology Association (CTA), the trade association representing the United States consumer technology industry, which supports more than 15 million jobs, more than 2,200 companies – 80 percent are small businesses and startups; others are among the world’s best-known brands, the U.S. consumer technology industry is expected to reach a record-breaking $398 billion (Rs 2,762,916 crore) in retail revenues ($301 billion wholesale or Rs 2,089,542 crore) in 2019 and clock 3.9 percent year-over-year (YoY) growth, which includes streaming services revenue.
Commenting on the finding, Gary Shapiro, president and CEO, CTA said: “The consumer tech sector is fast approaching another milestone – almost $400 billion (Rs 2,776,800 crore) in annual revenues – as more consumers embrace the efficiency, safety, entertainment and anytime/anywhere communication that technology brings to our everyday lives.”
“Our latest research shows innovations in AI and faster connectivity are among the key drivers for the industry’s record growth. And CES 2019 is the very best place to see, touch, try and experience the game-changing technologies – from augmented and virtual reality to smart cities, sports tech and robotics – that are solving challenges big and small,” added Shapiro.
Unveiled in advance of CES 2019, the latest edition of CTA’s flagship, semi-annual 'US Consumer Technology Sales and Forecasts' report reflects factory sales-to-dealers for more than 300 consumer tech products and related software and services. The biannual report claims to serve as a benchmark for the U.S. consumer tech industry, charting the size and growth of underlying categories.
Among the products projected to contribute significantly to the consumer tech sector’s growth in 2019 — Voice controlled smart speakers; Smart home; Wireless earbuds; Smartwatches and drones.
“The future is bright for many tech products consumers already know and love, as stalwart revenue drivers including smartphones, laptops and televisions continue to innovate,” said Steve Koenig, vice-president of market research, CTA. “2019 will mark the introduction of 5G-enabled devices and smartphones and next-gen screen technology such as 8K UHD televisions to the market. And constantly-evolving content from streaming services that enhances the experience across ‘the three screens’ – TVs, smartphones, laptops – will help push consumer spending in tech to new levels.”
In-vehicle tech among new revenue stream
With more technology built into new cars than ever before, factory-installed automotive technology is projected to contribute $17 billion (Rs 118,014 crore) in revenue an increase of nine percent in 2019. This the company is led by in-vehicle entertainment and driver-assist features such as active collision avoidance, lane keep assist and adaptive cruise control, consumer demand for advanced safety features pave the road for the self-driving car of the future.
CTA says the multi-year projections cannot account for unpredictable factors such as changes in trade laws, interest rates and federal policy. Any escalation in the trade dispute with China and potentially steeper tariffs would present significant headwinds to the forecast.