There's great news all around coming from the Consumer Electronics
Association, which has just published an annual report on American
spending in the world of consumer electronics. Without a doubt, 2009
was a rough year for most, and while technology didn't suffer too bad
in the grand scheme of things, pains were still felt. Many experts
assumed that 2010 would be the start of a real spending turnaround, and
according to these figures, that's exactly what is happening.
According to the CEA, the average U.S. household spent $1,380 on
consumer electronics (CE) products in the past 12 months, an increase
of $151 from last year. The average household spent 12 percent more on
CE devices in the past year, and considering that "the past year"
involved a chunk of 2009, that's fantastic news. The average adult
spent $794 on CE in the past 12 months, up from $725 in 2009, and while
women spent more on CE products than they did the year before, they
still trail men in overall spending. Women spent, on average, $631 on
consumer electronics, up $73 from 2009; men report personally spending
$969 in the past 12 months, up $67 from the year before.
The study also found that the average household reports owning 25 CE
products, up from 23 products last year. Brian Markwalter, CEA’s vice
president of research and standards, commented on the news: "Consumer
electronics continues to be a bright spot as spending increased despite
a tough year for the overall economy. As consumer confidence climbs,
along with the desire to own the latest technologies, consumers will
continue to view CE products as necessities in their lives."
The report also dug a little deeper into what people were buying, and
it found that video products continue to be the top CE device consumers
own, with HDTV ownership continuing to increase. Sixty-five percent of
U.S. homes now own at least one HDTV
, an increase of 13 percentage
points from last year, making it the top industry growth driver of the
past 12 months. Ownership of computers also continues to increase, and
today 86 percent of U.S. households own at least one computer, making
it the third most owned CE product category behind televisions and DVD
players. The popularity of netbooks, owned by 12 percent of U.S.
households, and laptops, now owned by most households (58 percent), is
helping drive the computer category.
All in all, there's great news all-around. Spending on technology is on
the rise, and Apple's iPad has already sold a million units. When a
non-essential tablet sells a million units, that's a pretty good sign
that morale is on the rise. Your day just got a little brighter, right?