A new study from IHS proves, beyond a shadow of a doubt, the dominance of smartphones and tablets in the consumer market. For the first time ever, revenue from tablet and smartphone sales could exceed revenue for the entire consumer electronics market, according to new research. This means that the smartphone and tablet industries alone could rake in more cash than TVs, audio equipment, cameras, video game consoles and home appliances combined. To be specific, the media and PC tablet industry and 3G/4G phone markets are projected to make $354.3 billion in 2013, which is 3 percent more than the $344.4 billion the rest of the consumer electronics space is expected to earn.
“Consumers simply are finding more value in the versatility and usefulness of smartphones and tablets, which now serve as the go-to devices for everything from phone calls, to photography, to navigation, to media playback, to fitness tracking,” said Randy Lawson, senior principal analyst for semiconductors and IHS.
Lawson isn’t exaggerating — manufacturers have been making an effort to incorporate top-notch technology in today’s smartphones and tablets. For example, the 41-megapixel Nokia Lumia 1020 probably snaps better photos than the old point-and-shoot sitting on your shelf. The hi-res Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 you just purchased could produce sharper video playback than the TV you bought 6 or 7 years ago.
According to IHS’ statistics, the mobile industry has boomed exponentially since smartphones became more prominent in 2007. Back in 2007 smartphones and tablets only generated a little more than 41 million in revenue while the consumer electronics industry made more than 341 million in revenue. The mobile device industry showed steady growth over the past 7 years, while the rest of the consumer electronics space didn’t show much change.
IHS’ predictions come amidst reports that tablets will continue to outpace traditional PCs this year. Earlier this week Gartner predicted that tablet shipments are expected to soar by 53.4 percent in 2013, while PC shipments are slated to drop by 11.2 percent when compared to 2012.