CEA: Tablet shipments in the US to double in 2011

CEA also says U.S. consumer electronics revenue will grow by 3 percent this year

Tablet computers are growing at a fast rate in the U.S. and will generate larger revenues as shipments continue to grow, the Consumer Electronics Association said on Thursday.

The CEA is projecting tablet shipments of 6.9 million units in the U.S. this year, generating revenue of US$4.3 billion. Shipments will almost double next year, reaching 13.6 million units and generating $8.1 billion in revenue, said Steve Kidera, a CEA spokesman.

"Considering these products weren't on the market a year [ago], it's staggering how fast they are developing," Kidera said. The projection was made as part of CEA's consumer electronics revenue study released on Thursday.

Revenue from sales of consumer electronics in the U.S. is expected to be $174.9 billion this year, a 3 percent rise from last year. The CEA also projected consumer electronics revenue to be more than $182 billion next year.

Mobile computing products, which include laptops and tablets, were a big driver of revenue, Kidera said. CEA projected U.S. mobile computing revenue to be $20.6 billion on 37.7 million unit sales in the U.S. this year. Mobile computing revenue is expected to grow to $26 billion next year, CEA said.

The revenue growth will also be driven by wireless handset sales, CEA said. CEA is projecting U.S. wireless handset revenue to reach $17.6 billion this year. Smartphones are a key driver, with more than 54 million units expected to ship in 2010, an increase of nearly 31 percent from the previous year.

3D TVs are also a growing category, Kidera said. The CEA projects 2.1 million 3D TVs will ship, for $2.7 billion in revenue this year. Shipments could grow to 6.2 million units next year, generating $7.1 billion in revenue.

The CEA, working with research firm GFK, is projecting worldwide consumer electronics revenue to grow 5 percent to $819 billion this year and by 2 percent next year to reach $837 billion.

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