Apple accounts for 20% of all US consumer electronics cash
Smartphones and tablets the only growth markets
The latest research data on US consumer electronics spending from analyst house NPD shows that Apple has a commanding market position, taking 19.9 per cent of all sales in 2012.
The top five companies by spending last year were Apple, Samsung, HP, Sony, and Dell, but of those only Apple and Samsung actually saw their market share rising; the Korean manufacturer's share grew from 7 per cent in 2011 to 9.3 per cent last year. The duo saw sales increase $6.5bn in 2012, while revenues in the rest of the industry fell by $9.5bn.
"While CE remains a dynamic industry the fact is that the stellar growth of the past few years has made growth today more difficult," said Stephen Baker, VP of industry analysis at NPD, in a statement.
"Most market segments have high penetration rates and the demand for additional devices is slowing, or declining. Tablets and smartphones have been able to stimulate demand for additional devices, but unfortunately it hasn't been enough, yet, to sustain positive growth trends."
Since tablets and smartphones are Apple's hottest items at the moment that's good news for Cupertino, and to a lesser extent for Samsung as it's also heavily invested in both markets. But for players in more established fields such as laptops and desktops, the data makes for grim reading, since it shows how far tablets in particular are cannibalizing sales.
Overall consumer electronics sales fell two per cent in 2012, double the rate of decline in 2011. According to the NPD, the sector has had only one quarter of growth in the last two years, but since that came at the end of 2012, things might be looking up.
"After struggles with declining categories, and increasingly saturated markets over the last few years, fourth quarter's results may be the first sign that even as a mature industry consumer technology can grow again, albeit with a very different dynamic than in previous growth spurts," concluded Baker. ®
I can't believe they still sell iPod's.
The Classic has a potential 160GB of dedicated music space that fits in a pocket and holds a battery charge all day, for the person who needs a device to be able to survive 24 hours without being constantly connected to a charger while working. No internet needed, no games needed, no phone calls needed - and all that stuff drains down the battery and is good for what, in the end? Other devices do all that stuff better.
In the 90's I had a cassette Walkman with a belt clip that pretty much traveled with me 24/7 - all I wanted then was for it to be able to play any song I owned at will instead of having to rely only on the (squeaky) tapes. Now I have that. If I could get 160GB of storage (no flashy stuff, just music playing for headphones and AUX jacks) from another brand, I'd switch. But graphics and internet and games have flooded the market, and when it's not the bonus features crowding out battery life and driving up price, it's the storage cutting off at a paltry 16GB. For a dedicated music lover that wants to listen to that one song RIGHT NOW, none of those other devices serve the right purpose. (Cloud storage is a cute alternative but once I'm on the go, I'm getting charged data rates for sucking all that data down to my phone, and that eats up battery as well. Also drive through a tunnel or between some hills and see how reliable data connections can be.)
Unless by now there is a non-Apple mp3 player available at 160GB with a music-playing battery life of 8-10 hours. If there is then I'll gladly switch. Only problem with the iPod Classic is I can't get music I lost the backup for OFF of this thing without a lot of trouble.
I might get a new iPod classic some time soon. My old one is OLD and my phone cannot hold all my music/audiobooks.
Granted, it's not a huge market, but as long as they own it and make money off of it without too much effort, why not keep at it?