Consumer Enthusiasm for Connectivity to Propel Tech Industry to Record-Setting Revenues

Increasing consumer enthusiasm for the Internet of Things (IoT) and adoption of emerging technology will drive the U.S. consumer technology industry to $292 billion in retail revenues ($228 billion wholesale) in 2017, according to new research from the Consumer Technology Association (CTA)™. The latest edition of CTA’s semi-annual industry report, U.S. Consumer Technology Sales and Forecasts – unveiled today in advance of CES® 2017, the global stage for innovation– says sales of emerging tech products such as smart home devices, wearables and 4K Ultra HD televisions will help produce 1.5 percent year-over-year (YOY) growth in industry revenues.

“2016 was an important year of transition – with potentially game-changing products including VR headsets and digital assistant devices gaining steam within mass consumer markets. I expect 2017 to be a year where many of these emerging tech categories find their footing and really take off”

“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, CTA. “More and more consumers are discovering the remarkable benefits connected products deliver, providing anytime/anywhere access to information, entertainment and each other. 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.”

As the nation’s largest tech trade association, CTA’s semi-annual report serves as a benchmark for the consumer technology industry, charting the size and growth of underlying product categories. The CTA consensus forecast reflects U.S. factory sales-to-dealers for more than 300 consumer tech products.

Emerging Technology Categories

Among categories tracked by CTA’s forecasts, U.S. sales of connected devices are projected to reach 600 million units in 2017 – a record high total and five percent YOY increase from 2016.

Smart Home: This is evolving as consumers’ most popular means of IoT engagement. CTA projects the smart home category – including smart thermostats, smart smoke and CO detectors, IP/Wi-Fi cameras, smart locks and doorbells, smart home systems, and smart switches, dimmers and outlets – to reach sales of 29 million units in 2017 (63 percent increase over 2016), earning $3.5 billion (57 percent increase).

Digital Assistant Devices: These products present an opportunity to understand how home tech products will integrate artificial intelligence over time. 2017 unit sales projections for voice-controlled, stand-alone digital assistant devices with a cloud-based operating system – including Amazon’s Echo and Google Home – are expected to reach 4.5 million units (52 percent increase) and reach $608 million in revenue (36 percent increase).

4K Ultra High-Definition (4K UHD): 4K UHD TVs are one of the industry’s fastest growing segments, driven in part by next-generation technologies such as high dynamic range and wide color gamut. Growth of the 4K UHD market significantly outpaces the transition to high-definition television, with just three years since introduction; cumulative sales of 4K UHD displays are forecast to hit 18.6 million units, while sales of HDTVs reached 4.2 million units in their first three years on the market. CTA projects shipments of 4K UHD displays to reach 15.6 million units in 2017 (51 percent increase) and earn $14.6 billion in revenue (38 percent increase).

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