We humans are crazy for our technology. But this year, we'll settle for a mad, mad, mad gadget world, rather than a mad, mad, mad, mad one, if an official prediction from the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas comes true.
According to the U.S. Consumer Electronics Association, worldwide consumer spending on screens, gadgets and gizmos will fall by 1 percent in 2014 to a mere $1.055 trillion, a reversal from last year's 3 percent growth to a zany $1.068 trillion, the Los Angeles Times reported
As you can see by the numbers, we're hardly forsaking our fondness for all things silicon and glass.
But we're tending to buy less expensive doodads, as we opt for things with smaller screens like tablet computers and smartphones.Together, those two categories will account for 43 percent of consumer outlay, while spending in almost every other category will fall, according to Steve Koenig, director of industry analysis for the association, which organizes the annual Vegas consumer electronics extravaganza.
The consumer decline will hit 4 percent in mature markets like the U.S. and Western Europe. Developing markets, which grew by 20 percent as recently as 2011, will only manage 4 percent revenue growth, Koenig said.
"In general, consumer spending on tech has hit a plateau in recent years, thanks to a number of factors that have combined to halt growth," the L.A. Times wrote.
Sounds like it will be incumbent upon the industry to find revenue growth through service and after sales, perhaps from selling ads or digital material (maybe even magazine subscriptions, a writer might wish). That in turn could set up new revenue sharing partnerships - or fights -between hardware, software, media and Internet firms.
The Consumer Electronics Show opens its exhibition halls Tuesday, January 7th, where the huge crowds can see all the latest items on which they'll spend less this year.