Consumer Electronics, devices and appliances, is a hyper-competitive market with razor thin margins (3-5% other than for Apple and handful of other leaders), fast growth and an increasingly low barrier to entry. The global market will be $1.5 trillion by 2024 (Global Market Insights, 2017) with growth at 3% on a 10 yr average for the US, but explosive in China, India, Japan and South Korea with India itself expected to grow at 16.8% (TBRC, 2017).
Factors fuelling consumer electronics innovation :
- Connected devices/ IoT adoption: Standalone devices are now increasingly connected on Wi-Fi, NFC, and Bluetooth. Devices and appliances have more sensors, more computing, and software that allows them to exchange and collect data and make decisions.
- Device Convergence: Increased computing, connectivity & miniaturization is causing great overlap of capabilities. Mobile phones continuing to subsume digital cameras, camcorders and standalone GPS navigation systems for instance.
- Smarter devices: Higher computing and connectivity allows more local and cloud-based computing. TVs and cars are not just ‘smart’ they’re connected — it reflects with 48.5% of televisions shipped globally in 2017 were smart TVs (IHS, 2017).
- Design: Product design has become the centerpiece of customer experience that includes design, materials and finish and this will continue to accelerate.
- Energy efficiency: As the computing demand on the device grows and so does power consumption devices require to be more energy efficient, have better management and better batteries.
- Device fidelity: Screen resolutions are increasing on small and large format devices to 4K, 8K, and higher resolution. Sound needs to be produced from much smaller device footprints with adequate fidelity.
What do suppliers do to increase innovation
Suppliers increasingly rely on a range of factors to increase innovation,
- Product Design Outsourcing: Product development and even product design is moving to Electronic Manufacturing Service (EMS) partners. This allows to accelerate launch schedules, outsource logistics complexity, in addition to reducing overall costs and shift from fixed to variable cost. For instance Product Design, part of the specialized design services market will be $157 billion in 2020 (TBRC, 2017)
- Virtual Reality in Manufacturing: Digital design, simulation, and integration is the virtual reality technology in electronic manufacturing and is allowing for faster prototyping and release.
- Automation: Robotics and automation are increasing plant efficiency and productivity and this reflects in 1.2 million industrial robots that BCG expects to be deployed by 2025 (BCG, 2016).
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