The International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2019 is set to start this week, but what will be the buzz? According to brand new data from the Consumer Technology Association (CTA), the smart home and 8K are two of the technologies set to dominate in 2019, along with artificial intelligence and fast connectivity, like 5G.
According to the just-released CTA semi-annual U.S. Consumer Technology Sales and Forecasts report, the U.S. consumer technology industry to a record-breaking $398 billion in retail revenues ($301 billion wholesale) in 2019 and 3.9 percent year-over-year (YOY) growth, which includes streaming services revenue, according to the Consumer Technology Association (CTA).
But more importantly for integration companies, smart home technology is expected to grow a whopping 23 percent in unit sales (to 29.4 million units) and 17 percent in sales (to $4.6 billion).
Smart home products include thermostats, smart smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, IP/Wi-Fi cameras, smart locks and doorbells, smart home systems, and smart switches, dimmers and outlets.
Moreover, unit sales of digital displays in 2019 are expected to remain steady. CTA predicts TV displays will remain above 42 million units (a 1 percent decrease) and register $22.6 billion in revenue (2 percent increase).
More than three-quarters of TV shipments will be sets with 40-inch screens or larger. Future upgrades will be driven by 4K Ultra High-Definition (4K UHD) sets, which now make up more than half of all TV unit sales.
4K UHD will sell 22 million units (14 percent increase) and $16.4 billion in revenue (eight percent increase). Raising the bar on resolution, inaugural shipments of 8K UHD TVs will reach $545 million in revenue. And budding OLED shipments will reach 1.4 million sets with double-digit growth through 2022.
“The consumer tech sector is fast approaching another milestone – almost $400 billion in annual revenues – as more consumers embrace the efficiency, safety, entertainment and anytime/anywhere communication that technology brings to our everyday lives,” says Gary Shapiro, president and CEO, CTA.
“Our latest research shows innovations in AI and faster connectivity are among the key drivers for the industry’s record growth. And CES 2019 is the very best place to see, touch, try and experience the game-changing technologies – from augmented and virtual reality to smart cities, sports tech and robotics – that are solving challenges big and small.”
CTA: Smart Speakers, Streaming Have Strong Momentum
Other emerging product categories of interest to integrators on CTA’s radar include:
Smart Speakers: Voice-controlled smart speakers including Amazon Echo and Google Home are projected to sell 36.6 million units (5 percent YOY increase) and earn $3.2 billion in revenue (7 percent YOY growth). Although adoption is slowing due to rapid voice integration in other devices such as TVs, smart home devices and other audio products, smart speakers remain a category to watch as consumers embrace the benefits of AI in their home.
Streaming Services: Consumer spending on music and video streaming services is valued at $26 billion in revenue, 25 percent higher than last year. The availability of live TV streaming and exclusive, award-winning content through subscription video streaming services will push consumer spending to $18 billion in 2019, up 27 percent from 2018. On-demand music services (e.g., Spotify, Pandora or Apple Music) will bring in an expected $7.7 billion in revenue, up 22 percent as providers race to gain subscribers.
Drones: Total drone sales are expected to reach 3.4 million units (4 percent increase) and just over $1 billion in revenue (4 percent growth) in 2019, as more consumers and businesses adopt drones for aerial photography, drone racing and recreation
Other categories set to grow are wireless earbuds, in-vehicle technology, and smart watches, with smartphones and laptops also slightly growing.
“The future is bright for many tech products consumers already know and love, as stalwart revenue drivers including smartphones, laptops and televisions continue to innovate,” says Steve Koenig, vice president of market research, CTA.
“2019 will mark the introduction of 5G-enabled devices and smartphones and next-gen screen technology such as 8K UHD televisions to the market. And constantly-evolving content from streaming services that enhances the experience across ‘the three screens’ – TVs, smartphones, laptops – will help push consumer spending in tech to new levels.”
CTA notes that multi-year projections cannot account for unpredictable factors such as changes in trade laws, interest rates and federal policy. Any escalation in the trade dispute with China and potentially steeper tariffs would present significant headwinds to CTA’s forecast.