i3 | April 06, 2021

Tech From CES will Drive Growth

Rick Kowalski

Last year was one of the most tumultuous years in the consumer technology industry’s history, but the versatility and agility of its products and services helped the industry continue to grow. Computing products (to help with telework and remote education) and anything related to home entertainment enjoyed growth. As vaccines help bring the pandemic under control, tech products that suffered from lockdowns in 2020 will recover. Meanwhile, new technologies that appeared at CES 2021 will start building market momentum.

Computing components and PCs were huge at CES this year, highlighting their importance during the pandemic. Intel and AMD announced new processors and GPUs showed that the race for more processing power is a key factor in technological innovation. Laptops, which did especially well in 2020, stand to benefit from the new chips. Although laptop revenues will decline 2% to $38.4 billion in 2021, revenues will remain well above 2019 levels for CTA’s five-year forecast window.

Gaming PCs will benefit greatly from the latest processors, but a new generation of home consoles on the market will also help gaming hit high scores in 2021. Many households have turned to gaming as a means of entertainment and a way to connect with friends and family. Home console revenues are expected to rise 21% to $5.3 billion this year, with gaming remaining popular in the first half as the pandemic lingers. More impressively, gaming software spending will reach $46.5 billion this year, up 8%.

AirPop Active Mask
AirPop’s Active+ Mask
Source: Courtesy of AirPop

The Promise of Tech

The CES 2021 keynote from Hans Vestberg, CEO of Verizon, highlighted the potential of 5G technology. The next generation in wireless technology is being used to improve education, smart cities and NFL stadiums as the network expands. As economic activity picks up in 2021, and more 5G handsets hit the shelves, smartphones will benefit from pent up demand and excitement for next generation wireless technology. This year, 161 million smartphones will ship, up 4% from 2020, and 42% of those handsets will be 5G-enabled.

Products like Bosch’s Hemoglobin Monitor and Omron’s VitalSight service put the spotlight on connected health monitoring devices, which can help people identify health conditions and manage chronic conditions. These devices will generate $845 million in 2021, up 34% over last year. Devices like AirPop’s Active+ Mask, disinfectant technologies like Targus’ anti-microbial backpack and UV-C lights, and touchless technologies also demonstrated the industry’s ability to battle COVID-19 transmissions.

There was no shortage of robots at CES, with 232 exhibitors showing off their automations. Robots are getting better at navigating our homes and identifying objects making for more useful personal companions.

Shipments of robotic vacuums, floor washers and lawnmowers will increase 13% to 4.6 million in 2021.

CES also featured numerous smart home enhancements. Companies such as Kohler, Moen, LG and Samsung announced everything from smart appliances to smart showers and bathtubs. Other companies expanded their offerings to include security, lighting and energy management devices that help around the home. Smart home products will generate $15 billion in revenues in 2021, up 3% over 2020.

Despite the health crisis, innovation is continuing to drive industry growth and it will make 2021 yet another exciting year in consumer tech. 

home robots and smartphones shipped to U.S. dealers
Source: CTA Market Research
i3 magazine March/April 2021 cover

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