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Category: Tech

Tablets, PCs among top US consumer electronics sales earners in 2011

Written on February 16, 2012 by R. Depp

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Even as total hardware and consumable sales in 2011 dropped 0.5 percent compared to the previous year, tablets and e-readers earned almost twice more sales. PCs were still the top sellers, with revenues reaching almost $28 billion.

The 2011 numbers are out, and several familiar U.S. consumer technology hardware and consumable products came out on top once again.

According to ’s recently released report, PCs are still king of the revenue charts, with laptops and netbooks making up 20 percent of all sales in 2011 with $28 billion. Meanwhile, for the second straight year, was the top consumer electronics brand with sales rising more than 30 percent from the previous year.

Tablets/e-readers proved to be the biggest gainers among US hardware and consumables. The portable, big screen gadgets earned $15 billion in sales in 2011–almost twice the amount from 2010. They even outsold mobile phones in terms of total revenue shares, as the latter ranked fourth.

Total hardware and consumable sales, though, still saw its numbers drop by 0.5 percent. Stephen Baker, vice president of industry analysis at NPD, attributed this to consumers’ change in the choice of electronics products. “Sales outside of the top five categories fell by 8 percent in 2011 as consumers shifted spending from older technologies to a narrow range of products,” said Baker.

Among retailers, the same pattern of ranking from 2010 repeated itself last year, with Best Buy coming out as the top retailer of choice for US consumers. Walmart, Apple, and nabbed second to fifth place, respectively.

When it came to where people buy their goods, non-retail channels such as online, direct mail, and TV shopping accounted for nearly a quarter of the revenue pie. While in-store sales dropped by 2.5 percent, but Baker doesn’t see it as a cause for concern, stating that “the growth in online volumes for retailers meant that retail name plates still accounted for well over four of every five dollars spent on CE hardware in the US”.

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