Consumerscope 2004 in Review
Looking back at the 2004 CE experience, a couple of key themes emerge. It was a year marked both by healthy growth and increasing competition for manufacturers and dealers. It was a year proving the viability of the transition to digital and a year of growing consumer libraries of digital content needing management and craving distribution. Thus it was the year of the iPod and related products as the answer to the desire for portability. The iPod also showed us all the importance of design to the customer hungry for an enhanced user experience along with the rapid growth of flat panel. But even better for us all, it was a year highlighting the opportunities open to all who creatively venture into the CE space.
So how does all this show in the numbers? At the highest level, the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) shows shipments of CE products from factories to dealers in the U.S. hit a record $113.5 billion. This represents an 11 percent jump over 2003 ($102.6 billion), placing the industry securely in the $100 billion-plus category. Rolled into the number is everything from the traditional audio and video categories to wireless phones and PC/game console-related products.
Where was the greatest success? The best part of witnessing a year like 2004 is that gainers led decliners by a significant margin. Here are just a few of the bigger successes.