Although consumers may be cutting back on their consumer electronics purchases, they may be more willing to pay a premium for devices with clear innovative benefits, according to online electronics resource Retrevo.
Of all the consumer electronics (and other products of varying origin) we saw at CES 2014, these are our picks for the most interesting, the most important, and the most awesome.
Flexible, stretchable electronic devices will help monitor athletes on the field, take medical monitoring away from the hospital bedside, and make portable electronics more comfortable—perhaps even wearable.
Americans are spending more on electronics like iPads and flat-screen televisions and less on durable goods like furniture, washing machines and lawn mowers, according to government data released Tuesday. The shift reflects a change in priorities for American consumers. After pouring money into all aspects of their homes during the previous decade, consumers are redirecting their purchases to eye-grabbing technology and socking away more of what's left over into savings. Apparel company executives are worried the lure of electronics will eat into their sales as the back-to-school season gets under way.
The South Korean company's plans may include pushing interactive advertisements from other companies through Samsung's phones and flat-screen TVs. Ads will likely be built into Samsung's new application store that, similar to Apple's for its iPhone, lets consumers stream content from the Internet to--in Samsung's case--a Web-connected television. Millions of Samsung's ipTV owners now have access to 30 ad-free applications, such as movie-streaming programs Netflix and Blockbuster. By year-end they will be able to tap into more than 100 of them. Then marketers may start doing it, too, piping their own messages into the apps.
Despite dropping prices, Americans spent more on consumer electronics last year than they did the year before that, suggesting once again that the gadgets are becoming essential parts of people's lives.
Best Buy, already the largest electronics retailer in the United States, is opening 1500-square foot mobile stores in shopping malls in an attempt to grab a larger share of the mobile phone market. The chain has already opened 77 such stores and plans to open as many as 1,000. The move creates an interesting challenge for the brand, which will now compete more directly with Walmart and Radio Shack (recently relabeled "The Shack"). Walmart has about a third and Radio Shack about a quarter of the U.S. mobile market.
With embarrassing vehicle recalls and testy congressional hearings behind it, Toyota Motor Corp. is planning an assault next week on its critics as the company digs in for a mammoth legal battle. In a media event planned for Monday and a Tuesday address to 1,000 suppliers, the Japanese auto maker plans to defend its electronics systems. It will roll out independent experts like the head of Stanford University's auto-research center to discredit a study that suggests electronics are to blame for sudden acceleration in some Toyota vehicles.
Sometimes it takes a million square feet of gizmos to understand where humanity is headed. After all the pageantry and pixels, here's what the world learned about tech in 2010.
Best Buy, recently forced into a holiday shopping price war with retailers like Amazon and Wal-Mart after suffering a 77% seasonal earnings drop in 2008, remains the largest US electronics retail chain, with about 1,000 stores. As is true for other retailers, the carnage hasn't stopped; Best Buy's net earnings for its second fiscal year quarter, which ended August 2009, fell 22% from the prior-year period.
Consumers are generally cautious heading into the critical holiday shopping season, with preseason trends suggesting that electronics sales may be solid while sales of apparel, particularly women's styles, could get pummeled. Spurred by the release of a hot videogame and earlier-than-usual promotions on televisions, U.S. shoppers spent 6.1% more on electronics in the first half of November the month, through Nov. 14, than a year ago, according to a recent analysis from MasterCard SpendingPulse, a unit of MasterCard Advisors.
Ah, the great comedy teams of history: Laurel and Hardy ... Burns and Allen ... Abbott and Costello ... Manning and Timberlake. Manning and Timberlake? As in the football star Peyton Manning and the singer Justin Timberlake? Yes, according to a humorous campaign for electronics products sold by Sony.