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Portable Product Sales Hint At Holidays On The Go For Many Consumers

Factory Sales Of MP3 Players, Satellite Radios And Digital Cameras Suggest Retailers Are Preparing For Strong Holiday Shopping Season In Portable Device Category

Arlington, VA, November 22 – Consumers increasingly are turning to portable consumer electronics products to keep them entertained while they are on the go, according to factory-to-dealer sales figures released today by the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA). Strong sales of portable products such as MP3 players, satellite radios and digital cameras are expected to continue during the holiday shopping season as more consumers hit the road, rail and sky.

MP3 players continue to be one of the most popular consumer electronics purchases this year. In year-to-date sales through September, dollar sales have topped $411 million, which is an increase of 81 percent over the same period in 2003. CEA Market Research predicts that by the end of the year, those sales will grow to $934 million. Sales of CD players that are MP3 capable also are rising as consumers continue to transition to digital audio technologies. Dollar sales of these units total $178 million through September.

“Anyone who has seen a shopping mall parking lot the day after Thanksgiving or an airport terminal in December knows that Americans are on the go this time of year perhaps more than any other,” said CEA Senior Industry Analyst Steve Koenig. “What this sales data tells us is that increasingly consumers want portable devices, such as MP3 players and digital cameras, to take with them. We expect even stronger holiday sales in these categories as people select CE products as gifts for family and friends, as well.”

CEA noted that satellite radio is another category that continues to grow, and with the recent introduction of new devices such as the XM Satellite Radio Delphi “MyFi” portable unit and advances in programming such as Sirius Satellite Radio’s contract with Howard Stern, the future for satellite radio looks strong. Satellite radio receiver unit sales total 1.3 million units through September and dollar sales have reached $94 million. Satellite radio receiver dollar sales represent a 78 percent increase compared to the same period in 2003.

Digital cameras, which ranked at the top of CEA’s Holiday Survey Wish List, are another portable product that is making a strong mark in consumer electronics sales. Dollar sales have surpassed $2.7 billion through September and are expected to reach $4.5 billion by the end of the year, which would be a growth of 15 percent from the total dollar sales in 2003. Year-to-date unit sales have surpassed 10.8 million units. CEA predicts more than 17.6 million units will be sold by the end of the year.

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Data cited in this release is available for purchase through CEA’s Market Activity Reports and Analysis (MARA) program. With more than 500 reports published annually, the MARA program is recognized as the “authoritative source” for data on the consumer electronics industry. For a list of available reports and purchasing information, visit www.eBrain.org/mara or send an e-mail request to info@ebrain.com.

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 1,750 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 $90 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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