Holiday Season Tech Spending to Reach Record Levels, According to CEA's 21st Annual Holiday Forecast

Annual forecast reveals consumers' top holiday tech wish list; increases in online shopping

Arlington, Va., October 3, 2014 - The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA)® predicts the 2014 holiday season will see the highest levels of consumer spending on consumer electronics (CE) since CEA began tracking holiday spending in 1994. According to CEA's holiday outlook released today, total tech spending during the holidays will increase 2.5 percent (up from 0.9 percent growth in 2013) to reach a record $33.76 billion during the 2014 holiday season. The findings were presented by CEA analysts during the closing session at CEA's inaugural Innovate! Conference held this week in Phoenix, AZ.

"Consumers are decidedly more optimistic about holiday spending on tech this year versus last year," said Shawn DuBravac, CEA's chief economist and senior director of research. "The macroeconomic environment is providing a firmer foundation and holiday consumers are showing a strong inclination to shop this holiday season. CEA's forecasts point to growth in overall spending as well as spending on tech this holiday season."

Top Tech Gifts to Give and Receive

According to CEA's 21st Annual CE Holiday Purchase Patterns Study, similar to last year the five CE gifts U.S. adults most want to receive are also the top five products driving the majority (51 percent) of total revenue for the CE industry in 2014. Combined, these products are expected to generate $108.8 billion in revenue in 2014, according to CEA's U.S. Consumer Electronics Sales and Forecast.

Top Holiday Tech Wish List:

The tech products that consumers most want to receive as gifts this holiday season are:
1) Tablets
2) Notebook/Laptop computers
3) TVs
4) Smartphones
5) Videogame consoles

While consumers want to receive consumer electronics as gifts this holiday season, 63 percent of U.S. adults plan to give the gift of technology this year. CEA expects headphones and earbuds (27 and 26 percent, respectively) to be the most popular CE devices consumers give during the 2014 holiday season. Tablets (26 percent) also will be popular this year, followed by notebook/laptop computers (25 percent), TVs (24 percent) and smartphones (23 percent).

Emerging Tech Product Gifts

Emerging product categories, which just a few years ago were too small to track, are now listed as products that one in five consumers (19 percent) are likely to purchase as a gift. One in 10 consumers are likely to purchase a fitness device (10 percent), a smart device for the home (nine percent) or a smartwatch (eight percent) as a holiday gift this year.

"The appetite for tech is strong for the 2014 holiday season," said Steve Koenig, director of industry analysis, CEA. "Expect to see growing consumer awareness and interest in emerging tech categories, including health and fitness technology, as industry giants have entered the playing field. These products will make their first big splash this holiday season, setting up 2015 as a breakout year for emerging segments like smartwatches and smart home technologies."

Holiday Retail Channels

For the first time, CEA's Annual CE Holiday Purchase Patterns Study found over half (54 percent) of consumers are likely to purchase CE products online this year, increasing from 45 percent in 2013. Further, 26 percent of consumers indicate they are likely to purchase more CE products online this year compared to last year. However, traditional retail channels remain vital for tech gift purchases with 77 percent of consumers likely to purchase from a brick-and-mortar location.

Two-thirds (67 percent) of consumers who plan to spend money on CE are likely to use a mobile device, such as a smartphone or tablet, to help them shop. Interestingly, those likely to use mobile devices to help them shop for CE plan to spend more money on CE this holiday season.

Holiday Shopping Timing

More consumers plan to shop early this year, but most will still wait to finish their shopping later in the season, when they feel the best deals are available. While most consumers (61 percent) plan to wait until November or December to start their holiday shopping, one-third (31 percent) indicate they anticipate shopping before November, up from 25 percent of consumers who planned to shop early last year. There also is a corresponding decline (seven percentage points from 2013) of consumers who start in December to search for the perfect gift.

CEA Holiday Research

For 21 years, CEA has surveyed consumers for its Annual CE Holiday Purchase Patterns study revealing the top technology gifts consumers want to receive and purchase as gifts for the holiday season. CEA's Annual CE Holiday Purchase Patterns report provides insights into the current and past 21 holiday seasons including, consumers' holiday spending plans, retail behaviors, gift purchase expectations, wish lists and more. To see the full 2014 holiday outlook presentation, including an assessment of last year's forecast, visit and keep up to date with all of CEA's holiday research throughout the season.

CEA also releases Black Friday predictions and results before and during the Thanksgiving weekend. To schedule an interview with a CEA analyst regarding Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales and trends, contact Danielle Cassagnol at

The 21st Annual CE Holiday Purchase Patterns Study was designed and formulated by CEA Market Research, the most comprehensive source of sales data, forecasts, consumer research and historical trends for the consumer electronics industry. Please cite any information to the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA)®. The complete report is available free to CEA member companies at Non-members may purchase the report in the CEA Store.

About CEA:
The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) is the technology trade association representing the $211 billion U.S. consumer electronics industry. More than 2,000 companies enjoy the benefits of CEA membership, including legislative advocacy, market research, technical training and education, industry promotion, standards development and the fostering of business and strategic relationships. CEA also owns and produces the International CES - The Global Stage for Innovation. All profits from CES are reinvested into CEA's industry services. Find CEA online at,

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