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CTA: Tech Industry in Line for Record Revenues

Enthusiasm for connectivity could drive retail revenues in 2017

This year is already shaping up to be a record-breaking year for the consumer tech industry, at least according to a new report from the Consumer Technology Association. CTA’s semi-annual “U.S. Consumer Technology Sales and Forecasts” industry report was released this week in the lead-up to the CES show and predicts that this new year could see retail revenues totaling $292 billion ($228 billion wholesale), in large part thanks to tech like 4K TVs, smart home devices and wearables that feature connectivity.

“Our forecast reinforces our belief that connectivity is going to be one of the driving trends of our time,” said Gary Shapiro, president and CEO of CTA. “Consumers recognize that connected innovations are changing our lives for the better — offering us more control and personalization while helping us lead safer, healthier and happier lives.”

The CTA report predicts that up to 600 million units of connected devices will likely be sold in the U.S. in 2017, a 5% increase from 2016. 4K/UHD TVs sales are expected to hit around 15.6 million unit shipments in 2017, bringing its three-year cumulative total to nearly 18.6 million units, which far outpaces the growth of the first three years of the HDTV market, which totaled 4.2 million units in its first three years. The biggest area of growth, however, is likely to be virtual reality headsets, which CTA forecasts will sell 2.5 million units (a 79% increase year-over-year) and $660 million in revenues (43% increase). Additional devices that expect to boost tech sales this year include drones, smart home and digital assistant devices, along with wearables.

Overall, the five largest revenue drivers for 2017 are expected to be the old staples of TVs, smartphones, tablets, laptops and desktops, with all five making up roughly 48% of total industry revenue. However, CTA sees declines coming either this year or in the next few years for TVs, smartphones, tablets and desktops, as new upgrades to these products are beginning to lengthen. Laptops are expected to hold steady, and possible growth coming from convertible models in the coming years.

Other areas of revenue that CTA highlighted in its report include automotive, with new factory-installed technologies like entertainment systems and driver-assist features making up an estimated 50% of collective value in new vehicles.

The full report is available here.