Steve Koenig

CE specialty retailers have to do even more this holiday season to build out the basket and boost the average ticket.

Three of four holiday gift-givers this year, as last, plan to include at least one tech product somewhere on their shopping lists – and they will have a Black Friday period to shop in that will start earlier and last longer than ever, in the estimation of the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA).

Americans have officially gone mobile.

Sales of smartphones, already in more than half of homes, and tablet computers, in one-third of homes, are expected to drive annual consumer electronics sales to $206.5 billion this year - the first time above the $200 billion mark.

Overall consumer electronic sales will grow 5.9% this year, the Consumer Electronics Association said in a report to be released Tuesday. That's up from the group's estimate earlier this year of 3.7% growth from 2011.

"These devices are the catalysts, the new means of interacting, that are really changing our relationship

Yesterday morning I had breakfast with Steve Koenig, Director of Industry Analysis at the Consumer Electronics Association. In case you don't already know, the CEA is the organisation behind the biggest trade show in the technology calendar - CES. Given the CEA's relationship with the technology industry, Steve is a great source of information, opinion and analysis.

Although Steve is over in the UK to give some formal presentations, our meeting was more of an informal chat about the trends and hot topics in the tech arena right now

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