Broader adoption of the Internet of Things and enthusiasm for emerging technology will drive the U.S. consumer technology industry to $286.6 billion in retail revenues ($224 billion wholesale) in 2016. Sales of burgeoning tech products such as wearables, smart home devices and drones will deliver an increase of 1.3 percent over last year’s industry revenues, according to the Consumer Technology Association.
“We’re in the midst of a critical transition period, as more IoT products offer the anytime/anywhere access and seamless experiences that today’s consumers want and need,” said Gary Shapiro, president and CEO, CTA. “This is a pivotal point in consumer technology history, as emerging tech categories – virtual reality, voice-controlled digital assistants, drones – push the entire industry forward.”
The five largest categories of the tech industry, including smartphones, tablets, LCD televisions, laptops and desktop computers, will collectively contribute $114 billion – or 51 percent – to the tech industry’s revenue this year, and smartphones and TVs will be responsible for most of that growth in 2016. However, in 2017, for the first time in several years, these five categories combined will account for a little less than half of industry revenue.
The TV market will remain on par with 2015, with unit sales estimated to reach 39.7 million units in 2016 (down one percent) and revenues expected to reach $20 billion (a three percent increase). LCD TVs, the category leader, will contribute 38.9 million units (a one percent decline) and $19.2 billion (two percent growth). Key areas of growth are large screen sizes, 4K UHD and smart TV displays.