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Holiday Store Hours Rise, and More Mobile Is The Future


WORDS BY JAIME SORCHER


Late Adopters Mean Business What’s Going On:


Despite consumers feeling a pinch in their wallets in 2013, they’re still willing to shell out for technology. Shoppers are on track to spend $203 billion this year on consumer electronics, with the bulk of their spending between November and December, representing an almost


5 percent increase over 2012. Primarily, it’s being driven by mobile electronics such as tablets, smart phones and gaming (Microsoft’s Xbox One and Sony’s PS4 get their first updates in nearly a decade).


How It Can Affect You: According to surveys by the NPD Group, 41 percent of con- sumers—up from 37 percent last year—said they’ll buy consumer electronics for the holidays, however, a shift is taking place. Where much of this spending, which was historically driven by the early adopter, it is now being accelerated this year across all segments of consumers. Late adopters, in particular, are impacting sales of mobile devices. Additionally, a growing number of consumers are buying refurbished electronics, which presents another opportuni- ty for retailers to remain competitive and compete for the val- ue-conscious customer. Both areas represent consumer categovries that have not been as strongly represented in the mix.


First Turkey; Then Shopping


What’s Going On: The Consumer Electronics


Association is forecasting that consumer tech spending will grow 2.6 percent this season in their Annual CEA Holi- day Forecast. However, most consumers—57 percent—aren’t planning to start their holiday


shopping until after Thanksgiving. Not only are more shoppers starting later, but a growing number--87 percent this year— will likely use a mobile device to help them shop for CE this holiday season. The most common mobile shopping activities:


Google’s Apps Gain Ground


What’s Going On: Google Play is making a play to dom-


inate Apple’s App Store with downloads now 25 percent higher, and app revenue that is slowly overtaking Apple’s sales. The reason: international markets.


44 Mobile Electronics December 2013


How It Can Affect You: This marks a huge change for Android


What’s Going On: Consumers are increasingly going mobile as they do more of their daily rituals from banking to watching TV on the go as advanced


app development has let them move more of their lives online. Not surprisingly, smartphone and tablet factory revenue are expected to exceed the entire consumer electronics market this year for the first time as mobile demand outpaces more traditional technology.


How It Can Affect You: Consumer demand for smartphones and tablets has boomed in the last few years. Revenues of tablets and phones, which have been soaring since 2007 when Apple introduced the iPhone, are experiencing expo- nential growth. In fact, revenue for the smartphone and tablet market is expected to rise by 31 percent in 2013. Consumers continue to find more value in the versatility, portability and usefulness of smartphones and tablets, which now are go-to gadgets for phone calls, navigation, and the newer area of digital fitness.


looking up retailer information (66 percent), comparing prices (62 percent) and getting information about products before store visits (62 percent).


How It Can Affect You: No matter when they start or how they shop, consumers are looking for mobile connected devices this holiday season—a category which is also driving overall tech industry growth, according to the CEA. So what’s hot? Tablets are at the top of gift wish lists this year for adults. Headphones/earbuds will be the most popular consumer electronics device given this holiday season followed by cases for electronic devices then tablets, smartphones and notebook/laptop computers. Video game consoles are also near the top of lists due to the releases of next-generation gaming consoles.


devices—an underdog to Apple from the start. For now, it’s the BRIC countries — Brazil, Russia, India, and China — that are almost all Android-powered. Brazil joins the U.S., Korea, India, and Russia in the top five markets for Android apps. In contrast, the top five countries on the iOS app store are the U.S., China, Japan, the U.K., and Russia. As Google Play gains momentum, it could unseat Apple’s App Store sooner than anyone expected.


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