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Consumer electronics sales fell half a percent in 2011, generating $144 billion, NPD reports. Computers, televisions, tablets/e-readers, mobile phones and video game hardware commanded nearly 60% of those sales. Notebooks and desktops alone represented $28 billion (almost 20%), a decrease of 3% from 2010, while tablets/e-readers doubled sales to $15 billion last year, growing faster than any other category.
Top Five Categories -- Share of Total Revenue
Assuming slates keep pace, their revenue could jump to second place in 2012, bypassing TVs which fell 1.2% to 13.8% in 2011. Interestingly, tablets have supposedly already outpaced mobile phones, which accounted for 8.5% of consumer tech revenue, a small 0.3% on-year increase. Game hardware (consoles and accessories we believe) dipped 0.8% to 5.6% and that trend is likely to continue until the next-generation rollout.
Considering the success of its iPhone and iPad, it's no surprise that Apple was the leading consumer electronics brand for the second consecutive year. What's more, of the top five brands, Apple was the only one to see a sales increase with a 36% boost in 2011, compared to a 17% or 21% dip for Dell or Sony. It's also noted that by the fourth quarter of last year, Apple represented 19% of all sales dollars -- nearly double HP.
Best Buy remains the number one electronics retailer, followed by Walmart and Apple. As in the prior year, Staples and Amazon tied for fourth place. In-store sales dropped 2.5% through 2011 as shopping via online, direct mail and TV mediums increased 7%, representing 24% of all sales, up from 22% in 2010. That shift is expected to continue. Non-retail channels accounted for a quarter of industry revenue during the holidays.
The iPad 2 improves on the original in many ways, including a significantly faster dual-core CPU, improved graphics and a thinner footprint. The iPad 2 also manages to shave off 0.2 pounds for a total weight of 1.33 pounds on the Wi-Fi only model. Apple has included two cameras on the iPad 2 – a VGA-quality front facing lens for FaceTime and a rear-facing camera capable of recording 720p video.
Amazon sent a wave crashing through the mobile industry when it announced its Kindle Fire would land with a price of $199. This is likely the best value in a tablet on the market, and will make tablet computing accessible to many people that either couldn't afford an iPad or couldn't tolerate Honeycomb tablets.
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