U.S. Tech Industry Revenue to Hit a Record-Breaking $487 Billion in 2021, Says CTA
Retail sales revenue for the tech industry in the U.S. will reach a record-breaking $487 billion in 2021 – a 7.5% jump year-over-year – powered by unprecedented consumer demand for tech related to work, school and lifestyle, according to a new report by the Consumer Technology Association (CTA)(r).
The pandemic strengthened the relationship between technology and consumers forever,” stated Gary Shapiro (CEO, CTA). Tech played an important role in our lives, from learning to work, staying connected with our loved ones, and taking care our health, said Gary Shapiro, president and CEO, CTA. The resilience of our nation to crises has been demonstrated time and again by tech. Even though the U.S. continues to deal with supply chain problems, labor gaps and rising inflation, technology will allow us to keep pushing forward .”
CTA’s twice-yearly “U.S. Consumer Technology One-Year Industry Forecast’ reflects U.S. manufacturer shipments for more than 100 consumer tech products and related software and services. This report highlights major trends that will shape the future of consumer tech as the economy moves towards a post-pandemic future.
Smartphones: 5G smartphones will see exponential growth as consumer demand continues to climb with many looking forward to upgrading their phones, waiting to explore the benefits of this new technology. More than 106 million 5G smartphones are expected to ship in 2021 (a 530% jump from 2020), generating $61 billion in revenue (a 404% increase). Overall shipments of smartphones will increase 10% to 154 million units, earning $73 billion in revenue, up 15%.
The record-breaking year-over-year growth of is expected to continue in 2021.. With so many Americans still working remotely, CTA believes that the record-breaking growth trend for will continue. Shipments for laptops will reach 76 million units (up 9%), earning $45 billion in revenue (up 11%).
True Wireless Earbuds: Devices such as Apple Airpods and Samsung Galaxy Buds continue to see strong growth in 2021, with 88 million units expected to ship, a 27% jump from last year, representing $8.7 billion in revenue (8% increase).
Being Healthy and Hip
Health/Fitness: For the first time, CTA includes connected exercise equipment such as stationary bikes, rowers and treadmills in this report. With demand for products such as Peloton and MYXfitness soaring, roughly 1.5 million units were shipped in 2020, and in 2021 the devices will cross 2 million (a 43% rise) and earn $3.9 billion (a 40% increase).
Shipments of connected health monitoring devices such as smart thermometers, pulse oximeters and blood pressure monitors will grow to 13 million units (up 23%) and earn $740 million in revenue (a 17% increase). The total revenue of health and fitness tech will reach $13 billion in 2021, a 12% growth over last year. The influx of tech-savvy, fashion-conscious customers will drive a 8% increase in smartwatch shipments.
E-bikes Personal mobility is the fastest-growing category. It includes scooters and battery-powered bikes. CTA projects a total of 1.2 million e-bikes to ship in 2021 (up 15%), earning $1.9 billion in revenue (a 3% jump).
Smart Home: With growing demand for smart speakers and home robots, CTA projects that more than 100 million smart home devices will ship in 2021 (up 11%), holding flat on revenue, with $15 billion.
Staying Engaged and Entertained
Software and Streaming Services:
- Audio: As music, audio books and podcast listening continues to gain momentum, CTA predicts earnings will reach $10 billion (up 18%).
- Video: After an unprecedented surge in subscription growth for video streaming services in 2020, 2021 will see continued growth in demand. The revenue for these services is expected to reach $43 billion, up 15% over last year.
- Gaming: Following a record year for gaming services in 2020 – a 25% increase in revenue – 2021 will see a slight decline reaching $48 billion, down 2% over last year.
Gaming Consoles: Following more than $5 billion in revenue in 2020, gaming consoles will see continued growth in 2021 as combined home and portable console shipments reach 19 million units (up 6%), accounting for $6 billion in revenue (up 18%).
Televisions: Overall TV shipments will hit 45 million units, lower than 2020’s record volume of more than 47 million, but with revenue growth of 5% ($24 billion). Over three quarters of all TVs sold this year will be 4K UHD. Consumer enthusiasm for large-screen TVs is increasing, even though most content consumption takes place indoors. LCD TVs with screen sizes 70-inches and up will reach 4.3 million in shipments, earning $4.4 billion, and 8K Ultra HD sets, which will see shipments climb to 2.6 million units in 2021, are expected to earn $5.7 billion (a 371% increase).
NEXTGEN TVs will see shipments increase nearly sixfold to 2.1 million units with revenue of $3.9 billion, up 425%.
VR, and AR: Augmented Reality (AR), and Hardware growth returns to 2021 after a slowdown in due to widespread disruptions to global supply chains. VR shipments will reach 2.7 million units (up 30%). Total revenues for the VR and AR hardware shipments will cross more than a billion dollars (a 34% increase).
E-toys Parents saw value in educational toys, as children’s learning moved to their homes during the pandemic. Shipments of e-toys including robots and musical instruments, will reach 61 million (a 7% increase), earning $3.6 billion (up 14%) in 2021. Specifically, STEM toys, which make up a growing part of this category, will see 4.7 million shipments (a 19% jump), earning $187 million (a 24% increase).
” As the country reopens tech will continue to play an important role in people’s lives, from using smartphones to upgrading their cars to tech upgrades,” Rick Kowalski (director, industry analysis, and business intelligence, CTA). Wearable technologies such as smartwatches or wireless earbuds, which are gaining popularity with apparel sales, are now an integral part of the modern wardrobe. The modern wardrobe .”
CTA’s flagship report, ‘U.S. Technology Forecast’, reveals that technology is an integral part of it. The Consumer Technology One-Year Market Forecast is published twice a year by CTA. It reports manufacturer shipments to U.S. sales channels. CTA is the largest source of consumer technology industry sales data, forecasts and consumer research trends.
Multi-year projections can’t account for unpredicted factors like pandemics, changes in trade laws and interest rates or federal policy.
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