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Hot in 2011: Tablet computers, 3-D TVs
What's not? Simple cell phones, and laptop and desktop computers.
The times they are a-changin' when it comes to electronic devices.
A new survey predicts consumers will buy 39% fewer personal computers this year compared with 2010 and that sales of simple mobile phones (not smart phones) will drop by 56%.
The global management consulting firm says the findings raise the question of whether -- in the long run -- desktop and laptop PCs in the home will be replaced by newer technology alternatives such as tablet computers, netbooks, smart phones and e-book readers. Post continues after video.
The survey of more than 8,000 consumers in eight countries found that respondents are using multiple devices such as tablets and smart phones for activities that used to be done on their personal computers. For example, 75% of U.S. respondents e-mailed each week from their PCs in 2010 versus 80% the year before.
Kumu Puri, senior executive with Accenture's Electronics & High-Tech Practice, says it appears the PC market -- at least for consumers -- has reached a level of saturation and will continue to see diminished growth rates. He added, "There's increasing potential for an end in sight for the relevance of the personal computer in the home as we know it today."
Even though content in 3-D television remains somewhat limited, purchase rates are expected to grow 500%, the largest increase among all 19 technologies included in the survey.
According to the survey, 57% of respondents said they would be more inclined to buy a 3-D TV if the price were within their budget. Other factors respondents said would make them more inclined to buy a 3-D TV included having greater availability of content and not having to wear 3-D glasses.
Interestingly, of the eight countries included in the survey, Chinese consumers were among the most enthusiastic purchasers and users of the latest technologies. While only 2% to 3% of respondents in most countries own a 3-D TV, twice as many Chinese say they own one and 69% want or plan to own a 3-D TV, compared with only 25% of U.S. consumers.
The survey also found that 53% of Chinese respondents own a smart phone compared with one-third of U.S. respondents.
The survey was released just in time for the huge Consumer Electronics Show opening in Las Vegas on Thursday.
Here's one interesting nugget: Guess what's not at the Consumer Electronics Show? Consumers. They're not even allowed to attend. It's only for industry employees and reporters.
The rest of us only get to watch snippets on our smart phones or read about it on our tablet computers.