Hey, Big Spender!

Which CE product category stands to gain the most from those tax rebate checks?

Michael Harris

April 28, 2008

2 Min Read
Hey, Big Spender!

U.S. households spent an average of $1,405 on consumer electronics products in the past 12 months, up 9.3 percent from the same period a year ago, according to the latest statistics from the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) .

Digital and high-definition television products continue to be key drivers.

The CEA says more than half of U.S. homes now own a digital TV, and by the end of 2008, HDTV ownership may match that total. While the CEA didn't include the metric in its reporting, it's fair to conclude that U.S. consumers spent essentially zero dollars on tru2way (formerly OpenCable Platform) digital cable products at retail. (See Cable's 'tru2way' Play .)

The average U.S. home now owns 24 consumer electronics products, down from 25 in 2007, and 26 in 2006, which the CEA attributed to device consolidation through the availability multi-function units. An upsurge in garage sales could provide an alternate explanation.

According to the CEA, it's guys that really like to buy. The average U.S. man reported owning 25 CE devices and plans to spend over $1,000 on CE products in 2008, compared to the average woman, who owns 21 devices and will spend $600.

Last month, the CEA forecast that tax rebates coming to consumers starting this week through the federal economic stimulus package will boost CE spending. Citing consumer survey data, the trade group projected 20 percent of U.S. households will spend at least a portion of their rebate check on consumer electronics, totaling some $5 billion in purchases. What will they buy? Of those planning to use their rebates for CE gear, 53 percent plan to buy a computer, 39 percent will purchase a new TV, and 23 percent will ring up a new mobile phone.

— Michael Harris, Chief Analyst, Cable Digital News

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