The past week’s stock market roller coaster, with daily up- and down-ticks, reflects the vagaries of this earnings report season. Appropriately, the third-quarter data from consumer electronics companies have reflected the uncomfortable inconsistencies elsewhere in the market.
As the parade of quarterly financial reports continues to emerge, the electronics industry is feeling the whiplash of contradictory results that offer "hope" but no guarantees going into the critical holiday selling season. In the coming days, we'll hear from Motorola on Thursday, Oct. 29 and Sony on Friday, October 30. While Wall Street is already declaring victory because overall third-quarter tech sector results so far have "exceeded expectations," others are taking a more measured attitude, based on the inconsistency of figures emerging from the retailing and electronics industries.
No matter how the NBC Universal dance with Comcast comes out or whether the Disney "KeyChest" multi-platform digital plan evolves, they - or similar deals - will affect the ways in which Americans watch video programming. These kinds of ventures will eventually redraw the media landscape, defining the scope and capabilities of devices on which those programs will be consumed.
Prototype mobile Digital TV receivers will be on display at the Consumer Electronics Show in January, at about the same time that a consumer field trial is scheduled to begin in the Washington-Baltimore area.
Gary Shapiro, president of the Consumer Electronics Association, has received the annual American Horizon Award from the Media Institute, a Washington research foundation specializing in communications policy and the First Amendment. Shapiro is the first recipient who does not come directly from the media industry.
As energy conservation and environmental protection become embedded parts of the American culture, activities such as "telecommuting" and "telework" will play a bigger role in the national economy.