Do you know where your MP3 player is? If you’re like an increasing number of people, it’s built into your phone, along with your camera and your GPS device. Research from IHS iSuppli shows that single-task consumer electronics devices are on a long downward slide as smartphones and tablets get more popular.
The forecast says that shipments of portable navigation devices, portable media players and digital still cameras will at best remain flat between now and 2015. At the same time, shipments of smartphones will rise at a compound annual growth rate of 28.5 percent, while media tablets climb 72.1 percent. (See chart below.)
“The success of multipurpose electronic equipment, often coming at the expense of devices dedicated to a single task, is reshaping the landscape of the consumer electronics industry,” said Jordan Selburn, principal analyst, consumer platforms, for IHS. “In many cases, users can replace a slew of dedicated systems with just one multipurpose device, gaining functionality and portability while simultaneously saving money.”
Details of MP3 player sales, to take one example, put numbers behind this observation. Selburn said 180.1 million of these devices were sold in 2010. By 2015, that will fall 6.8 percent to 126.8 million. That’s quite a contrast to the previous five years, during which sales of soared 38.7 percent.
“The story of consumer electronics is an ongoing survival of the fittest, and multitasking systems such as media tablets will have a hand in turning yesterday’s hot consumer electronics gear into tomorrow’s fossils,” Selburn said.
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