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Consumer Electronics Gifts to Account for $21 Billion in 2006 Holiday Spending

MP3 Players Top Wish List Second Year Running

Consumer electronics (CE) gifts will account for a quarter of all holiday gifts with revenues reaching $21 billion this holiday season, compared to $17 billion (21 percent) in 2005. Results from the 13th Annual CE Holiday Purchase Patterns study were presented by the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) today at CEA’s 2006 Industry Forum, a three-day conference designed to inform, connect and educate consumer electronics professionals, industry analysts and media on the latest trends, technologies and legislation affecting the industry.

“The holiday outlook for our industry is a merry one,” said Director of Industry Analysis Sean Wargo. “Consumers’ confidence in the economy is on the rise and the CE industry will benefit. CE gifts dominate a quarter of the overall holiday gift giving market. And consumers tend to shop with a ‘one for you-one for me’ mindset during the holiday season. As a result, gifts for others only account for about half of the volume of sales in the fourth quarter.”

According to the survey, overall household spending for the holidays (factoring in gifts, decorations, food, travel and other assorted holiday expenses) will be up 14 percent this year to $1,625. Of that, half will be spent on gifts – a 27 percent increase compared to last year – and consumers will spend $195 on average for CE gifts.

“The upgrade cycle is driving a lot of this growth. Lured in by the declining prices on many new digital products, consumers are spending more for consumer electronics on average than they have in the past. An example of this is the MP3 player versus the portable CD player. The initial price for an MP3 player is higher than the initial price five or 10 years ago for a portable CD player,” said Wargo.

The survey also tracked what consumer electronics consumers want the most (wish list items) and what they are mostly likely to give (gift list items) this holiday season. For the second year in a row, MP3 players topped the wish list among adults. The rest of the top 10 list included: all types DVD players/recorders, digital cameras, laptops and PCs, televisions, video game systems, cellular phones, camcorders and HDTV.

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Topping the gift list, or what consumers actually plan to buy, this holiday season are digital cameras, cellular phones, MP3 players, video game consoles, portable CD players, carrying cases, cordless phones, additional memory for digital cameras, laptops and clock radios.

For the third year in a row, CEA also surveyed teen participants aged 12-17. Rounding out the top three CE wish list items for teens were MP3 players, video game consoles and computers.

“Our survey also measured where technology ranks in consumers’ overall holiday wish list. For adults, most wanted clothes, peace and happiness, money, computers and digital cameras. For teens, clothes, CDs books, video games and money are the most desired gifts this holiday season.”

For more information on how to purchase technology for the holidays, visit www.myCEknowhow.com. MyCEknowhow.com is CEA’s consumer based web guide to all things CE. Currently posted online are modules for digital imaging, digital televisions and MP3 players, all hot holiday items this season.

CEA’s 13th Annual CE Holiday Purchase Patterns (October 2006) was fielded in late September 2006. It was designed and formulated by CEA Market Research, the most comprehensive source of sales data, forecasts, consumer research and historical trends for the consumer electronics industry. Please source any information cited to the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA). The complete study is available free to CEA member companies. Non-members may purchase the study starting October 27 for $499 at http://www.ebrain.org/crs/crs_all.asp.

ABOUT CEA:
The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) is the preeminent trade association promoting growth in the consumer technology industry through technology policy, events, research, promotion and the fostering of business and strategic relationships. CEA represents more than 2,100 corporate members involved in the design, development, manufacturing, distribution and integration of audio, video, mobile electronics, wireless and landline communications, information technology, home networking, multimedia and accessory products, as well as related services that are sold through consumer channels. Combined, CEA’s members account for more than $125 billion in annual sales. CEA’s resources are available online at www.CE.org, the definitive source for information about the consumer electronics industry. CEA also sponsors and manages the International CES – Defining Tomorrow’s Technology. All profits from CES are reinvested into industry services, including technical training and education, industry promotion, engineering standards development, market research and legislative advocacy.

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