Massive tablet sales expected over the Black Friday and Christmas period

by Doug Drinkwater

November 15 2012

The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) today highlighted just how big tablets are going to become in the fourth quarter.

Reeling off the firm’s latest stats at the CES Unveiled press conference in London, CEA analysts Shawn DuBravac and Steve Koenig explained that while consumer spending on technology goods is expected to stay on par with 2011, tablets will outperform the rest of the market.

“Tablets and smartphones are set to dominate holiday season in the U.S, the UK and throughout Western Europe. These are becoming the predominant devices consumers are turning to when expanding their computing experience,” said DuBravac.

Indeed, figures from the conference were nothing short of eye-opening. The CEA predicted that 32 million tablets will be sold over Q4, almost as many units as flat-screen TVs (10.5 million) and digital cameras combined (12.1 million), and over double (+112%) the number of tablets believed to have been sold in Q4 2011.

Furthermore, when asked what they would like over the holiday season, 8.3% of consumers said that they would like a tablet, compared to 4.3% who said money and 4.5% who would prefer peace and happiness.

This tribute to the rise of mobile devices continued with DuBravac not only saying that mobile will be the main focus at the forthcoming Consumer Electronics Show (CES), but that the increasing dominance of smartphones and tablets is helping to boost the technology market as a whole.

To back up the latter point, CEA’s director of industry analysis Steve Koenig said that the consumer electronics market (by value) will rise 6% in 2011 with tablets and smartphones, but would otherwise fall down by 5%.

There are also an increasing number of hybrid devices coming to the fore, according to the CEA. “We’re starting to see a collision between devices; screen sizes are getting bigger and these devices are offering greater power,” said DuBravac.

The CEA’s presentation didn’t just focus on hardware however, with Koenig briefly referring to the now “applificaton” of the technology industry. “With things like satellite navigation, hardware products are becoming software”.

DuBravac added that CES 2013 will be the “largest app event in the world, with apps across all categories”.

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