Artificial Intelligence (AI), voice recognition, and fast connectivity will spur total U.S. consumer technology industry revenue to a record $377 billion, up six percent in 2018, according to Consumer Technology Association (CTA).
The CTA mid-year update of its “U.S. Consumer Technology Sales and Forecasts” report also shows that whole home Wi-Fi solutions, wireless earbuds and augmented/virtual reality headsets will all cross the $1 billion milestone in wholesale revenue this year.
“Innovations in A.I., voice and connectivity are making tech devices more helpful and versatile,” said Gary Shapiro, president and CEO of CTA in a statement. He warned, however, that tariffs and the trade war “Threaten to unravel the strong economic momentum driving tech adoption and sales,” despite the current healthy state of the industry.
The CTA report reflects U.S. factory sales to dealers of more than 300 consumer tech products, including related software and services.
Key categories contributing significantly to overall revenue growth identified in the report include:
Smart speakers: voice-controlled smart speakers such as Amazon Echo, Google Home, and Apple HomePod are experiencing “a metoric rise not seen since tablets,” the report says. CTA expects to see 44 percent growth over 2017 sales.
Smart home: smart home devices ranging from smart thermostats, smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, locks and doorbells, switches and outlets are projected to see 43 percent growth.
Drones: total drone sales are expected to hit just over $1 billion in revenue, selling 3.4 million units this year.
Wearables: the total health and fitness market, including fitness activity trackers, smartwatches, hearing aids, and sports tech such as smart baseball bats or basketballs, are forecast to see a 10 percent increase to $6.4 billion in revenue.
Top 3 revenue drivers
The report says the top 3 revenue drivers, smartphones, laptops and notebook PCs, and televisions continue to show strong growth.
Factory installed automotive technology, including driver-assist tech, will see a 6 percent increase to $15.7 billion.
Steaming services for music and video also continue to rise with revenue expected to hit $19.7 billion this year, a 38 percent gain over 2017.
Rick Kowalski, CTA’s senior manager for market research and business intelligence said in a statement, “We are undergoing a huge shift in how people consume content. Video streaming services are offering an increasing amount of original content and TV streaming options are becoming widely available this year.”