Take a look at some of the trends, challenges, and opportunities from industry profiles in the consumer electronics sector, updated by D&B First Research editors in the past month.
Opportunity: Electronic Device Ownership Expanding
The number of personal electronic devices per individual will rise over the next several years, a trend that should benefit peripheral-equipment makers. Consumers in mature markets will own and use more than three personal electronic devices by 2018, according to a recent report from Gartner. The IT forecaster expects the installed base of PCs, tablets, phones, and wearables will grow from 7.8 billion units in 2016 to 8.3 billion units in 2018. An increase in the number of devices owned by individual consumers would provide new sales opportunities for peripheral makers, many of which have been challenged by a market shift from PCs to mobile devices. Gartner anticipates that rather than further consolidating their electronics portfolios, consumers will increase their ownership to include more than two main devices (smartphones, tablets, computers), along with one or more niche devices (wearables, smart cards, e-readers, cameras). Factors driving the proliferation include the availability of faster networks and consumers’ growing need for real-time information.
To learn more about this and other industry trends, see our Computer Peripheral Equipment Manufacturing report.
Opportunity: “Internet of Things” Driving Electronics Growth
Growing adoption of Internet of Things (IoT) technology is driving demand for new consumer electronics, including audio and video equipment. Encompassing devices that are embedded with software and sensors and connected to the Internet, IoT spans multiple audio and video categories, most significantly smart televisions. Unit sales of smart TVs will reach 27 million in 2016, a 13% increase compared to 2015, according to the Consumer Technology Association. Over the same period, sales of streaming media players are projected to increase 5%, reaching 15.8 million units. Other A/V products with networking capabilities include wireless speakers and headphones, sales of which are forecast to increase 40% and 30%, respectively, from 2015 to 2016.
See our Audio & Video Equipment Manufacturing report for more on this and other industry trends.
Trend: Payments Technology Coming to More Devices
Demonstrating the spread of payments technology, a new app will enable consumers to shop and pay for groceries directly from their refrigerators. Called Groceries by MasterCard, the app will come preloaded in Samsung’s new Family Hub refrigerator (on sale in the US in May) and connect shoppers to online grocers FreshDirect and ShopRite. (Additional grocers will be included in the app later this year through MasterCard’s partnership with MyWebGrocer.) Items are added to a cart from a touchscreen on the refrigerator door, and the final shopping list is approved with a four-digit PIN. Shoppers can pay using any US-issued credit or debit card. Orders are delivered directly by participating merchants. The new service builds on MasterCard’s Commerce for Every Device program, launched in October 2015, which embeds payments technology in devices including fitness bands, smart watches, and other wearables.
Check out the Financial Transaction Processing industry profile for more.
Opportunity: VR Adoption Promises PC Boost
An expected boom in virtual reality (VR) system sales could drive consumers to upgrade or replace their current PCs. VR headsets, which allow users to experience computer-simulated environments, are beginning to enter the consumer market, and some analysts believe the segment is poised for explosive growth. Driven primarily by gamers, sales of VR head-mounted displays will grow from 200,000 units in 2014 to 39 million units in 2018, according to forecaster KZero. Because VR headsets typically work in conjunction with a PC and have substantial system requirements, strong demand for VR could spur sales of new computers or component upgrades. VR applications require high-end graphics cards, advanced processors, and ample memory to adequately render an immersive environment and respond to users’ movements.
Find more information in the Computer Manufacturing industry profile.
Opportunity: PC Market Stabilizing
Worldwide sales of PCs, a primary product category for computer wholesalers, could stabilize by the end of 2016. Demand for desktop and laptop computers has plummeted in recent years as consumers tastes have shifted to smartphones and tablets, but some analysts believe the proliferation of mobile devices has merely allowed consumers to postpone new computer purchases. Factors including acceleration of Windows 10 adoption (particularly after Microsoft ceases support for Windows 7), as well as weakening demand for tablets and mobile phones, should help revive the segment. Despite an expected decline of about 3% in 2016, worldwide PC shipments will stay flat overall between 2015 and 2019, declining at a compound annual rate of 0.4%. Portable PC shipments should see compound annual growth of 1% during the period, according to a recent forecast by IDC. Flat or slightly declining sales would represent a marked improvement for the global PC market, which saw shipments decline about 10% in 2015. PC forms with the strongest growth outlooks include all-in-one desktops, ultraslim notebooks, and convertible (tablet/notebook) PCs.
For more insight, see our Computer & Office Equipment Wholesalers industry report.
D&B First Research reports offer insight on hundreds of industries to help guide professionals in their business decisions. Profiles contain a comprehensive set of data in an easy-to-digest format. In a hurry? Our call-prep sheet is a popular way to quickly get up to speed on an industry.
Rob Heidrick is an industry editor on the First Research team. He covers food and beverage manufacturing, hospitality, and recreation, as well as the government and education sectors. Rob is also on the First Research social media team and an editor for Bizmology.