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Mobile Devices Lead US Electronics Purchases

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Consumers' desire for mobility is driving sales of tablets, smartphones, e readers and wireless mobile hotspots, according to a new study by the USA's Consumer Electronics Association (CEA). The study also found that consumer electronics (CE) spending is up for individuals (35%) and households (36%) over the last 12 months.

Mobile Devices

Sales of tablet computers are driving growth in the CE industry; household penetration of tablets is up 17 percent year over year. The CEA study also found household increased penetration rates for smartphones (12%), e-readers (10%) and wireless mobile hotspots (10%).

"For the first time in the 15 years we've conducted this survey, the top four products making headway in U.S. households are mobile devices," said Kevin Tillmann, senior research analyst, market research, CEA. "We're seeing overall household penetration rates for smartphones and tablets at 58 percent and 39 percent respectively, and we expect they will continue to dominate the marketplace in the coming year."

Smartphone ownership continues to flourish, with 69 million U.S. households now owning a smartphone. As a result, basic cell phone (non-smartphone) ownership is steadily declining.

E-reader ownership increased from 19 percent in 2012 to 29 percent in 2013, and wireless mobile hotspot devices nearly doubled in ownership from 11 percent in 2012 to 21 percent in 2013.

Overall CE Spending

CE spending over the past 12 months is up considerably for both individuals and households. On average, U.S. adults reported spending $746 on CE products, a 35 percent increase over the prior year, while the average American household spent $1,312, an increase of 36 percent. Spending increased most dramatically for adults ages 25-34, up 62 percent from 2012 levels to $1,171.

"Several factors are contributing to an increase in consumer spending. Unemployment numbers are declining. And prices are falling across several CE product categories as competition increases within these market segments," said Tillmann. "This bodes well for consumers, affording them the opportunity to purchase more products and upgrade with greater frequency."

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Tags: USA