Thursday, November 18, 2010

Blue Xmas forecast for consumer electronics

Only 38 percent of heads of broadband-equipped households in the U.S. intend to buy a CE product before January, down from 49 percent at the same time last year, according to a survey by market watcher Parks Associates (Dallas). Sixty-two percent of respondents said they do not plan to purchase a CE product by January, up from 51 percent last year.

"2010 will not be a stellar year," said Yilan Jiang, manager of consumer research at Parks. "It may end up a little bit up in units, but we think revenues will be flat due to the strong discounting already occurring," she said.

The perception of a slow economy is the biggest inhibitor for sales, according to the survey of 2,529 people conducted November 10-16. Discounts will likely accelerate, potentially depressing overall revenue growth. "We don’t think we will see significant increases this holiday season," said Jiang.

Indeed even enthusiasm for the most sought-after CE products is down from a year ago. Fifteen percent of respondents said they will buy a flat-screen LCD or LED TV, making it the hottest product for the season. But that is down from 19 percent who intended to buy a flat-screen TV last year. "This kind of decline is visible in virtually every single product including cellphones," said Jiang.

Internet-connected TVs saw a dramatic rise in percentage terms, though anticipated unit sales are still expected to be modest. Parks expects 8.6 million Web TVs will be sold in 2011, up from 2.1 million this year.

From the article, "Blue Xmas forecast for consumer electronics" by Rick Merritt

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