As the consumer tech industry kicks off 2014 at its annual convention, the International Consumer Electronics Show in
Yet pockets of weakness remain in tech sectors, where new technologies are replacing the old.
As that inexorable technology cycle of rapid innovation and obsolescence continues, a wider geographic trend has Asian mobile device makers capturing more of the global growth in consumer electronics.
By comparison, U.S. auto sales expectations for 2013 were for a rise of 8%, which means parts of the
PC sales fell about 7% in 2013, IDC estimates, and that trend is expected to accelerate.
The tablet market is growing at a low double-digit rate as more consumers and workers organize their personal and professional lives around a mobile computer.
Apple, whose iPhone and iPad businesses are a good proxy for the high-end smartphone and tablet markets, is expected to see sales grow 8%, to
That's now more than three times the size of
While tablets replace personal computers, the battleground for growth in the global smartphone market has shifted from mature markets such as the U.S. and
Global smartphone market growth estimates fall roughly between 15% and 20% for 2014, well below the 40% rate IDC estimated for the third quarter.
The precise number will depend on whether one counts units or revenue, because average sales prices are falling on low- and midrange devices across the globe.
In the third quarter of 2013, the average price of a smartphone fell 12.5% to
Meanwhile, up-and-coming Chinese handset makers such as Xiaomi,
Last week, shortly after Apple began selling phones to customers of
Meanwhile, software sales will rise a more modest 8% this year, according to
Technology is now more global and more mobile, two trends that point toward the fastest growth in the industry.
John Shinal has covered tech and financial markets for 15 years at
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