As the International CES kicked off today with more wacky gadgets than ever, the consumer electronics industry was on a high as record sales were predicted for 2000.
According to projections from the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), sales from the industry are expected to reach a record $85 billion this year, setting an eighth consecutive year of growth.
The CEA revealed that consumer electronic sales will reach $81 billion for 1999, a seven per cent increase from the 1998 figure of $75 billion. In 2000 the home information category is expected to rise by 6.5 per cent to $37 billion.
Entertainment products, according to the CEA, will be increasingly smarter and multifunctional, and products traditionally perceived as business only are now designed to entertain as well as enhance productivity.
Gary Shapiro, CEA president and chief executive, said: "The consumer electronics industry has evolved from a hardware business to a consumer technology industry that combines hardware, content and services. Digital technologies will continue to be the driving force of this change. Sales of digital products hit the $30 billion mark last year and we expect sales to reach $38 billion in 2000. Those are extraordinary numbers."
Sales of devices such as digital cameras are expected to soar, with unit sales expected to rise to 2.6 million on $905 million in sales. DVD players are expected to continue in growth, as will direct to home satellite systems.
"Consumer electronics are everywhere, bringing us entertainment, information and just plain fun," added Shapiro. "And there's more excitement ahead: home networking, personal video records, remote Web access and digital TV are just some of the products that will soon revolutionise the way we work, play and learn."
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