By Grant Shepherd

LAS VEGAS: According to Gary Shapiro, president and CEO of the Consumer Electronics Association, the CE industry will generate more than $165 billion in US Shipment revenue this year, which is an increase from 2009 figures.

Shapiro discussed this and many other findings from the recent CEA industry forecast in his opening remarks at the 2010 International CES in Las Vegas yesterday.

“2009 is a year none of us wish to repeat and now we look forward to 2010. There is light at the end of the tunnel and it is the bright light of innovation,” he said.

“We are seeing more innovation at this show than at any show in our history. There are a record number of new exhibitors, more than 330, among the 2,500 companies showcasing the next generation of technology.”

Although unit volume increased by 10 per cent in 2009, revenue fell an estimated 7.8 per cent due to consumers being more value conscious. Shapiro believes that as the economy begins to recover from the recession, the CE industry will see growth throughout 2010.

One of the expected key performers of 2010 is the smartphone, which is poised to generate nearly $17 billion in shipment revenue and sell over 52 million units. According to the report, smartphones comprise more than 30 per cent of total wireless phone shipments and will increase in future years.

Computer sales are also expected to experience growth throughout 2010, mainly due to the popularity of netbooks. In 2010, the netbook category is expected to generate more than $14 billion and ship more than 30 million units.

“Smartphones and netbooks are primed for strong growth as consumers continue to seek efficient, portable devices,” said Steve Koenig, director of industry analysis at CEA.

“With more consumers seeking content anywhere, anytime, the demand for products facilitating these experiences will drive purchases going forward.”

Other interesting findings highlighted that Blu-ray unit sales grew 155 per cent in 2009 with more than seven million units being sold. The category generated more than $1 billion in 2009 and is expected to increase to $1.4 billion in 2010, with 11.5 million units sold.

3D seems to be the buzz word at this year’s CES and according to the CEA, over 4 million 3D TVs are projected to be sold throughout 2010.