The World Watching Warily: Electronics Manufacturers Try to Gauge U.S. Consumption
What sells best in lean times? Will the confidence of U.S. shoppers rebound along with the stock market? What's the likeliest gadget demand scenerio for 2009?
In uncertain economic times, attendees at the Hong Kong Electronics Fair (Autumn Edition), the world's second largest consumer electronics show, spent the last week grappling with questions about how the tech sector may fare over the next few weeks and years. Though 2610 exhibitors were still manning bright, blinking, flower-festooned booths in a business-as-usual fashion at the show, which ran from October 13-16th at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, many admitted they were concerned about a potential drop in exports to the U.S. in particular.
"No one country is an island anymore," said Kurt Schraudy, an executive at Messe München International. "The U.S. is still the #1 market for consumer electronics and if people there stop buying their DVDs and laptops or putting off automobile sales, China will certainly be affected, especially South China, which makes components."