The U.S. Consumer Tech market is on pace to exceed $400 billion in retail revenues in 2019 according to the Consumer Technology Association (CTA). CTA's flagship, biannual U.S. Consumer Technology Sales and Forecasts report reflects U.S. factory sales-to-dealers for 300+ consumer tech products and related software and services. This year, the CTA is pointing towards the rise in streaming services, artificial intelligence (AI)-enabled emerging devices, and in-vehicle technology as main drivers of the 2.2 percent year over year growth.
"Enthusiasm for AI-powered technologies is skyrocketing - more consumers are discovering for themselves how tech innovation can change their daily lives for the better," said Gary Shapiro, president and CEO, CTA. "And with 5G delivering the faster connectivity we'll need for anytime/anywhere streaming, smarter home robotics and more advanced vehicles, consumer excitement will only grow, but unnecessary tariffs - taxes paid by American consumers and businesses - threaten to slow down our nation's economic momentum."
In the report, the CTA breaks down consumer tech products into two main categories: emerging technologies and revenue drivers. The highest grossing product category under emerging tech includes an array connected home products. Smart home safety devices, smart speakers, and home robots are collectively expected to generate $8.7 billion in revenue. Following closely behind them though are wireless earbuds ($2 billion) and smartwatches ($5.4 billion).
Revenue drivers include veterans like smartphones, laptops, and televisions As the largest consumer tech category by far, smartphones are expected to rake in $77.5 billion dollars in revenue in 2019. Though this number actually represents a 2 percent decline, the promise of 5G is on the horizon. The exciting new technology is expected to earn $1.9 billion in revenue with the first fleet of 5G smartphones.
"More than ever, consumers want premium technology experiences - especially within the smartphone, TV, laptop, smartwatch and wireless earbuds categories," said Steve Koenig, vice president of market research, CTA. "The lightning-fast pace of tech means we can upgrade our 'everyday tech' and get extraordinary experiences. While this level of quality and efficiency means some replacement cycles are getting longer, technologies such as AI and 5G promise to usher in the next era of innovation, delighting consumers and driving our economy."