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Electronics Production | July 29, 2011

Tablet & Smartphone: the death of single-task consumer products

Marking a fundamental shift in the history of the consumer electronics industry, the rising sales of multifunction electronics devices like smartphones and media tablets are resulting in a long-term decline in demand for single-task consumer electronics devices, states IHS iSuppli.

Shipments of smartphones and media tablets will rise at compound annual growth rates (CAGRs) of 28.5% and 72.1%, respectively, for the years 2010 to 2015. In contrast, shipments of portable navigation devices (PNDs), portable media players (PMPs)/MP3 players and digital still cameras (DSCs) will either decline or remain flat during the same period of time. “The story of consumer electronics is an ongoing survival of the fittest, and multitasking systems such as media tablets will have a hand in turning yesterday’s hot consumer electronics gear into tomorrow’s fossils", observed Jordan Selburn, principal analyst, consumer platforms, for IHS. Shipments of media tablets will rise to 262.1 million units in 2015, up from 17.4 million in 2010. Smartphone shipments will increase to more than 1 billion units in 2015, up from 294.3 million in 2010. In contrast, global PMP/MP3 shipments are set to fall to 126.8 million units in 2015, declining at a CAGR of negative 6.8% from 180.1 million in 2010. Showing how dramatically market conditions have changed, PMP/MP3 shipments rose at a CAGR of 38.7% during the previous five-year period from 2004 through 2009. For their part, PND shipments will decline to 37.2 million units in 2015, with a CAGR of negative 2.2%t from 41.5 million units in 2010. This compares to a booming 88.9% CAGR from 2004 to 2009.
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