Mobile devices will become original equipment manufacturers’ top earning products in 2013, eclipsing income from sales of all other consumer electronics for the first time.
Research firm IHS predicts devices including tablets and 3G and 4G mobile phones will edge a narrow 3% lead in revenues in 2013 compared to all other consumer electronic products, overturning a 30% deficit during 2012. Total mobile device revenue is forecast to hit $354.3 billion in 2013, some $10 billion higher than predicted sales of other consumer electronics ($344.4 billion).
“The fact that these two product categories are on their own able to generate more OEM factory revenue than the entire CE market illustrates the overwhelming popularity of smartphones and tablets. Meanwhile, the CE market has gone flat, with many of the major product types experiencing either low growth or declines in revenue during the past six years,” says Randy Lawson, senior principal analyst for semiconductors at IHS.
IHS predicts the margin between factory revenues for mobile devices will hit 35% in 2017, despite a likely slowdown in the rate of annual sales rises.
However, the success will come in a contracting overall market, as lackluster growth in consumer electronics sales in the past five years takes it toll. The research firm predicts the overall consumer electronics market will rake in 5% less sales by 2017 compared to 2013.