A new report from the Plastics Industry Association notes that product demand in the major market segments in consumer electronics, like smartphones and LCD TVs, are flat or declining, while growth is expected to come in new areas like fitness technology, home robots and drones.
The report, “Watching: Consumer Technology,” was released Jan. 6 in conjunction with the CES show in Las Vegas, and highlights the role of plastics in innovation in the consumer electronics industry.
It was prepared with the Consumer Technology Association, the trade association for the consumer electronics industry.
“No other sector relies so much on innovation as consumer electronics, and plastics play an important role in game-changing technology,” said Kendra Martin, senior director of industry affairs for the Washington-based plastics association. “Innovation is the life blood of this industry as innovation cycles get shorter and shorter to avoid the setting in of buyer fatigue.”
The group released the report as part of its Plastics Market Watch series.
The report projects that revenues from the five largest consumer electronics sectors — smart phones, tablet computers, LCD TVs, laptops and desktops — will fall from $114.6 billion in 2015 to $111.3 billion in 2017.
But it projects that demand from a range of emerging categories, including 4K TVs and 3D printers, will grow from $15.3 billion to $27.4 billion in that period.
The report quotes the CTA as saying that the new categories are driving the industry's growth.
“Without these new categories, industry revenue growth would be negative (2.1 percent in 2016 and 1.8 percent in 2017),” the report said. “It stands to reason these products (as well as future products) will continue to help grow the industry as household ownership of several product categories reach their maximum penetration rate.”
The report also includes historical and current household penetration rates for a variety of consumer electronics, and discusses recycling and other environmental issues in the industry.