Tablets, smartphones outshine TVs in US revenue | News | Rapid TV News
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Consumer electronics revenue is set to reach a new high this year in the US, led by tablets and smartphones, which will in turn contribute to a boom in mobile video usage.

CE revenue overall will reach a record high of $190 billion in 2011, according to the Consumer Electronics Association, with tablets set to reach 26.5 million units, resulting in $14 billion in revenue. Smartphone sales will increase by 45% to $23 billion, the study said. When it comes to more traditional television devices, the sale of connected TV sets is expected to be a growing area.

Meanwhile, TV sales overall in the United States are set to ebb, reaching only $18 billion in revenue thanks to market maturation (a full 88% of U.S. households own at least one digital TV). But there are notable bright spots: More than 10.4 million units of the nascent connected TV category will ship to stores this year. And, TVs that have 3D capability will ship 3.6 million units, up from 1.9 million units last year.

Mobile devices will carry the day however, which is great news for mobile video uptake, according to research firm In-Stat.

"As content restrictions are liberalised and the proliferation of smartphone and tablet devices continues to expand, so too will mobile video consumption," said Amy Cravens, a market analyst, in a brief.

Already, nearly two-thirds of smartphone owners have watched video on their device, while nearly 86% of tablet owners have done so. In-Stat forecasts mobile video consumption to surpass 693 billion minutes by 2015.

The numbers come with a caveat: "However, it is important to note that the consumption differs significantly between smartphones, tablets, and notebook/netbooks," said Cravens. "Differences include content length, content genre and content acquisition. Content providers need to customise their offerings by target platform."

For instance, In-Stat says the majority of video access is occurring in a non-mobile environment, often in the home, particularly for tablet devices and in the consumption of long-form video.

The uptake in mobile gadgets will lead the consumer electronics industry to expand by 5.6% in 2011, more than the GDP growth rate in the United States of 2.4 percent. Shipment revenues for consumer electronics will will continue to grow next year, CEA said, to an all-time high of $197 billion.

"One year ago, tablets were a new and unproven market, and now they, along with other mobile connected devices including smartphones and e-readers, are leading the entire industry to positive growth," Steve Koenig, the group's director of industry analysis, said in a statement.