5.6. Target Consumer Electronics Products
The Consumer Electronics Association reports that despite a challenging economy in 2003, the consumer technology industry had sales of nearly $100 billion. Demand for related products, such as portable audio/video players, DVD players, televisions, PVRs, game consoles, and digital camcorders, is increasing by more than 50 percent per year. A few of these hot-selling products happen to be ideal targets for UWB, including the following.
DVD players are the fastest-growing new consumer technology product, with 39 percent growth representing more than 17 million units. Consumers are now buying more than twice as many DVD players as VCRs. In-Stat/MDR reports that the DVD player market is maturing and sales will reach 84 million units in 2006 .
Today, more digital cameras are sold than film cameras. Driven by demand in Europe, shipments of digital cameras were up 93 percent in May 2003 from the year before, and 13 million units were sold in the first quarter of 2003 . InfoTrends/Cap Ventures, a market research and consulting firm focusing on digital imaging technologies and markets, reports that global sales of low-end digital cameras are expected to increase by a 16 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR) until 2007, a year in which 51 million units will be sold . Digital camcorders make up more than half of all camcorder units sold, as consumers embrace the better picture quality, smaller size, and editing ability that the technology offers.
The FCC mandate in the United States will result in more shipments of DTVs with integrated tuners and end the life of the DTV monitor category. In addition, the launch of Freeview in the United Kingdom (quintupling the number of terrestrial TV channels available free to air) breathes new life into DTV. Digital terrestrial broadcasting started in Japan at the end of 2003, joining the current digital broadcast satellite transmissions, encouraging more Japanese consumers to buy digital rather than analog sets.
DTV sets have also proven to be a popular item in South Korea and are growing in China. In the area of display technologies, the clean, thin-profile look of flat-panel TVs is in demand from consumers who can afford it. New factories will be coming online in coming years, which will increase the supply of LCD and plasma panels, thereby reducing their price. Besides IEEE 1394 and Digital Visual Interface, DTV set manufacturers are also adding 802.11b and Ethernet connections to DTV sets in increasing numbers. In-Stat/MDR reports that the DTV set market in 2007 will reach 58 million units .
Strategy Analytics claims that sales of flat-panel TV units will grow from 2.2 million in 2002 to 38 million in 2008 . Manufacturers include Motorola (through an agreement with Proview), Sharp Corp. and Samsung Electronics .
Gaming is a growing phenomenon, with more than 60 percent of Americans playing some kind of computer or video game at least some of the time. Sales have been flat in 2003 and are expected to continue to be slow until after 2005, when the major console makers start laying the foundation for a new generation of consoles . As game consoles become more sophisticated, consumers are warming to their enhanced capabilities such as DVD, CD capabilities as well as integrated hard drives. Today,game consoles are shipped with DVD add-ins, as well as network adapters that allow the user to play online with other gamers. As manufacturers scramble to meet these needs, UWB is the perfect solution, especially as multiuser gaming continues to be a growing trend.
Digital Music Players
Worldwide portable digital music player unit shipments (including solid-state, HDD, CD/MP3, and NetMD products) will grow to more than 36 million in 2007, with HDD players experiencing the highest growth rate. The home jukebox and receiver markets are still in their infancy and are growing at a slow rate in terms of volume. However, the increased penetration of broadband and home networking technologies and the ability to share content around the house will have a positive effect on this market .