Smartphones, Tablets, Hi-​Def TVs Lead Consumer Demand

BY Courtney Huckabay
Featured image for “Smartphones, Tablets, Hi-​Def TVs Lead Consumer Demand”

Consumer demand for electronics will continue its rise through 2015. According to the Consumer Electronics Association, industry revenues are expected to reach an all-​time high of $223 billion in 2015, an increase of 3% over 2014. That percentage growth is steady with the growth from 2013 to 2014, Shawn DuBravac, chief economist for the CEA, said.

Revenues for the consumer electronics industry are projected to grow 3% in 2015 and to reach an all-​time high of $223.2 billion, according to The U.S. Consumer Electronics Sales and Forecast 2010–2015, the semi-​annual industry report released by the Consumer Electronics Association.

Emerging Technologies

The 2015 forecast projects that revenue for new, emerging product categories is expected to double, growing 108% year-​over-​year in 2015. These new technology categories include 3D printers, 4K Ultra-​High Definition televisions, connected thermostats, unmanned systems (unmanned aerial vehicles, unmanned vehicles and home robots), IP cameras and wearables such as health and fitness devices, smartwatches and smart eyewear.

While the emerging product categories represent less than five percent of the entire CE industry revenue forecast, they are expected to contribute almost $11 billion to overall CE revenue in 2015.

‰ÛÏOur forecast underscores that consumers‰Ûª love affair with technology shows no signs of slowing any time soon,‰Û said Shapiro. ‰ÛÏConsumer technology is all about continued innovation. In the blink of an eye, consumer demand has taken off for emerging categories such as wearables, unmanned aerial vehicles and 4K Ultra HD ‰ÛÒ categories that were too small to track just three years ago. Expect to see these burgeoning categories, as well as innovations across the full spectrum of consumer technology, on display this week at the 2015 International CES.‰Û


The wearable device revolution is a key category to watch in the coming years, and especially in 2015. CEA projects overall wearable unit sales will reach 30.9 million units (a 61% increase from past year) and generate $5.1 billion in revenue in 2015 (a 133% increase). CEA‰Ûªs wearables category encompasses fitness activity bands and other health and fitness devices, as well as smartwatches and smart eyewear.

  • Health and fitness devices: Led by the popularity of activity tracking devices, health and fitness devices will lead unit sales among all wearables in 2015 with a projected 20 million units. Revenue is expected to surpass $1.8 billion in 2015.
  • Smartwatches: These devices are expected to take off in 2015, selling 10.8 million units (a 359% increase) and earning a projected $3.1 billion in revenue (a 474% increase over 2014).

Sales Leaders

Sales of mobile connected devices, specifically smartphones and tablets, will continue to stand as the top 2 revenue drivers of the CE bottom line in 2015, representing 34.1% of the total CE industry revenue. Although revenue growth for these categories has slowed as the category has matured, unit sales will continue to see increases.

  • Smartphones: As the sales leader of the industry, smartphone unit shipments are projected to reach 169.3 million this year, up 6% from 2014. Additionally, smartphone revenues are expected to generate $51.3 billion in 2015, a 5% increase from 2014. Particular growth will be seen in screen sizes between 5.3 inches ‰ÛÒ 6.5 inches.
  • Tablets: Unit sales of tablets are projected to reach 80.7 million this year, a 35 increase from 2014. Revenues for tablets will reach $24.9 billion this year, down 1%.

‰ÛÏMobile connected devices have reached an equilibrium, stabilizing the steep climb these products have experienced in recent years,‰Û said Shawn DuBravac, Ph.D., chief economist, CEA and author of CEA‰Ûªs soon-​to-​be released book Digital Destiny: How the New Age of Data Will Transform the Way We Work, Live, and Communicate. ‰ÛÏOverall, improving economic conditions, consumer enthusiasm for new features and product categories, competitive manufacturer pricing and several other dynamics now at play should make 2015 an especially significant year for tech.‰Û


Larger screen sizes and innovative display features have more consumers upgrading their video experience. TV sales remain critical as the industry‰Ûªs third-​largest contributor to the total revenue with sales of TV sets and displays projected to reach $18.3 billion in 2015, down 2% from 2014.

  • 4K Ultra High-​Definition: The continued market growth of 4K UHD TV continues to perform better than expected in 2014. Unit shipments of 4K UHD displays are projected to reach 4 million in 2015 (a 208% increase). Revenue from 4K UHD displays is expected to exceed $5 billion in 2015, more than double its 2014 total (a 106% increase).

Other CE categories expected to enjoy positive growth in 2015 include audio, electronic gaming and laptops. Automotive electronics will see continued growth due to new vehicle sales in 2015, reaching $14 billion in revenue, a 3.3% increase.

According to AudienceSCAN data, 24% of consumers plan to purchase a high-​definition TV within 12 months. Almost 41% of them are women. 34% live in urban areas. Internet advertising works on this audience! Nearly 38% of these buyers started an online search based on a web ad in the past year.

AudienceSCAN data is available as part of a subscription to AdMall for Agencies. Media companies can access AudienceSCAN data through the Audience Intelligence Reports inåÊAdMall.