i3 - March/April 2018 - 47

Business

By Rick Kowalski

BY T H E N U M B E RS

Forecasting
at the Speed of
Innovation
racking the pace of change in the
consumer technology industry
can be dizzying. Anybody visiting
the startups at CES's Eureka Park knows
that there are hundreds of fresh and exciting ideas that have the potential to make
a mark on the industry. While it is impossible to report on every new product on
the market, CTA's January 2018 edition
of the U.S. Consumer Technology Sales
and Forecasts reflects the addition of several new technologies that are making
an impact on the industry bottom line.

T

CTA's most recent forecast shows that the retail value
of the consumer technology industry grew 6.7 percent
to $339 billion in 2017 and will grow another 3.9 percent this year to $351 billion. Last year saw growth
in four out of five of the largest hardware categories
(smartphones, laptops, LCD TVs and factory-installed
automotive tech) and these technologies will continue
to contribute to growth in 2018.
Equally important are the emerging technologies
in our forecast, which also show much promise for the
industry. Four relatively new products will register
more than $1 billion in revenues this year, including
smart speakers ($3.8 billion), OLED TVs ($1.3 billion),
VR/AR eyewear ($1.2 billion) and drones ($1.2 billion).
Smart speakers (wireless speakers enabled with digital
assistants) are the biggest rising star among new technologies. More than 43.6 million smart speakers will
ship in 2018, up 60 percent over 2017.
Smart speakers demonstrate how one product
alone can make a huge impact in just a few years.
Smart speakers are rejuvenating the audio category,
and they serve as a harbinger for the industry in
regards to voice-based artificial intelligence. Digital
assistants are proving useful as audio-based user interfaces for devices without touchscreens and for situations where our hands may otherwise be busy. These
interfaces are beginning to appear on televisions, light
switches, smoke detectors and in vehicles.
C TA . t e c h / i 3

The Smart Home

New
Products,
Big
Revenues
Four relatively new
products will register
more than $1 billion
in revenues this year
including:

Smart speakers

$3.8 billion

OLED TVs

$1.3 billion

VR/AR Eyewear

$1.2 billion

Drones

$1.2 billion

CTA also took a closer look at connected home products and began
forecasting sales of devices such as
smart lightbulbs, door locks, doorbells and home security systems.
Collectively, there will be 40.8 million connected home products shipping to the U.S. in 2018, up 41
percent over last year. Whole-home
Wi-Fi solutions, another product
new to the forecast, will also grow
with connected homes with more
than six million units shipping this
year. These devices help people
maintain a consistent internet connection throughout the home to
accommodate the increasing number of devices taking up residence
on the home network.
Finally, the forecast includes
subscription streaming services
for the first time. Given the consumer shift to streaming music and
video services, CTA believed it was
time to begin more closely tracking
the rapid growth of this new technology trend, both to capture
changes in how consumers are
accessing content and to accurately
measure the uptake of devices they
are using to access these burgeoning
services. CTA expects consumer
spending on subscription video
streaming services to grow 39 percent to nearly $13 billion in 2018,
and $6.6 billion on subscription
music streaming services.
Stay tuned for the July update of
the U.S. Consumer Technology Sales
and Forecasts, where we will continue to follow these emerging technologies, along with whatever
innovations 2018 brings us. ■

CTA's most recent forecast shows that
the retail value of the consumer
technology industry will grow another
3.9 percent this year to $351 billion.
MARCH/APRIL 2018

47


http://www.CTA.tech/salesandforecasts http://www.CTA.tech/salesandforecasts http://www.CTA.tech

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of i3 - March/April 2018

Contents
i3 - March/April 2018 - Cover1
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i3 - March/April 2018 - Contents
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