The Consumer Electronics market has been relatively stable in the first nine months of 2016. We might even have expected better, given the stimulus of a European football championship with significant participation from British and Irish teams. This enabled retailers to sell a wide variety of ever larger TVs that were increasingly likely to be 4K Ultra high definition, not forgetting a minority of OLED products. However, other vision products fared less well; the DVD market, for example, now seems positively moribund, even if there is hope that 4K Blu-ray can create new interest via the release of big film releases in 4K. Straddling vision and audio categories, Soundbars have reached the maturity of a product that accounts for more than a million units sold in a single year, with a resulting decline in recent months versus their 2015 equivalents. There is some evidence that many are given away in TV packages, as would have been the case during the Euro championships.
At the same time, the progress of modern audio HIFI continued unabated, with further growth for Multiroom audio systems (usually Bluetooth) wireless speakers and headphones with microphones. Streaming has become an important feature of HiFi separates but the resurgence of the Turntables market is the most eye-catching development. Sometimes overshadowed by audio HiFi, portable, clock and boombox radios continue to be sold in significant quantities, and we should not ignore the potential afforded by a digital radio switchover,which may still happen as soon as 2022.
Author: Nick Simon, Account Director for Consumer Electronics