The global electronics market will exceed $1 trillion for the first time this year, with continued gains for smartphones, tablets and Internet and LED TVs, the Consumer Electronics Association said in its 2012 forecast.
Last year's market for electronics was about $963 billion, which might have been stronger without the effects of the European financial crisis, said Steve Koenig, the CEA's director of industry analysis. The 2012 prediction is based on the hope global growth will resume, with especially large demand from developing countries like China, Brazil and India.
The developed world should account for about $557 billion in electronics sales, the Arlington, Va.-based CEA predicted, with the remainder coming from emerging markets. The CEA is scheduled to open its annual international consumer electronics show Monday in Las Vegas.
Other forecasts from the CEA include:
Demand for tablets will slow because of past success. The category, largely pioneered by Apple and dominated by the Cupertino, Calif.-based company since 2007, will see growth slow to only 12 percent, from higher levels, even as competing products from Sony, Lenovo Group and Samsung hit the market.
The CEA estimated 96 million tablets were sold in 2011; Apple previously reported sales of 32.1 million iPads in the year ended Sept. 24.
Handset growth should be 12 percent. The category should remain strong, especially because some carriers are absorbing costs to make sure customers buy them in hopes of using more services later. An example: Sprint Nextel's intent to spend as much as $20 billion over four years to sell iPhones to customers below cost, as well as several other moves by European carriers.
The mobile PC market will grow 10 percent. Including new laptops with Intel's Ivy Bridge Ultrabook chips, sales of these products should be robust, with sales of desktop PCs inching up only 3 percent.
TV sales will inch up only 1 percent. The reason is saturation worldwide, the association said. However, sales of new-model TVs with LEDs will account for more than 60 percent of sales, with about 40 percent built with LCD displays. In the U.S. though, sales of TVs equipped for 3D broadcast will be nearly 10 percent of the total. In all, about 262 million TVs will be sold this year.