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Consumer Technology Association Says Smartphones Will Continue to Drive U.S. Retail Revenue

February 1, 2016 | By |

The Consumer Technology Association (CTA) predicts record revenues will be driven by smartphones and the Internet of Things (IoT).

In a press release from earlier this month, CTA (formerly the Consumer Electronics Association) predicts the U.S. consumer technology industry will see a record-setting $287 billion in retail revenues in 2016. That huge number puts the latest Powerball jackpot to shame, and is largely driven by what’s known as the Internet of Things.

If you’re not familiar with this term, think about normal, everyday objects that are embedded with software and form a huge network of devices that can communicate and be controlled by one another. An example is the Nest Thermostat, which can be adjusted with your smartphone. CTA expects the smart home technology category – which includes the Nest and other innovations like smart smoke detectors and smart switches – to have about $1.2 billion in 2016 revenue.

Gary Shapiro, president and CEO of CTA, talks about how the IoT will help spur revenue: “2016 will be another great year for consumers. As more products become connected, we’ll be able to manage our lives in ways that weren’t possible even just a few years ago. The exponential growth of the IoT and the lightning-fast speed of innovation are key reasons we’ll see such strong growth across so many tech categories. Highly sophisticated technology is becoming more affordable and accessible – improving our safety, productivity and entertainment.”

Smartphones are considered the dominant sales category across the consumer technology industry. Shipments of smartphones are expected to rise 5% over last year to 183 million units. That means $55 billion in 2016 revenue – a 4% increase from last year.

Top categories like smartphones, televisions and laptops will keep driving U.S. retail revenues and lead to industry growth in 2016. When combining these categories with tablets and desktops, they make up 51% of the consumer tech industry’s revenue. Newer trends and technology such as wearables, virtual reality and drones will push growth even further. Shapiro said, “newer categories, continuing innovation and improving economic conditions provide additional cause for industry optimism.”

Smartphones can be used for just about everything from surfing the web, paying online bills, scheduling appointments, etc and they continue to take the #1 spot in our lives. They are the first thing we check each morning and the last thing we check before bed. Smartphones have taken over how we live our lives and will no signs of slowing down anytime soon.

One of the largest growing categories will be Virtual Reality which CTA forecasts will have a 500% increase in unit sales over last year. Revenues are projected to reach almost $550 million due to the anticipated release of several notable VR headsets.

Members of the Veloxity team recently attended the Consumer Electronics Show in Vegas, and brought along our phone charging kiosks which were installed in the CTA platinum lounge to keep attendees cell phones powered up. Contact us about renting or buying a charging solution for you business or conference.   Veloxity offers a full suite of device charging solutions for any setting.