Very true. Even sneakers have electronic content these days. If you go so far as to count RFID tags then practically everything that goes out the door in most stores could be classified as electronics.
The final numbers show a 1.2% growth in CE product sales this holiday season vs. last year, but the real news story is in the breakdown of those sales. TV sets were fairly flat, but what about iPads, Kindles and Kinects? Even retailers that don't normally sell electronics -- like clothing stores -- were selling iPads this season.
When you break down the holiday CE sales by product, you will find that some products had phenomenal sales and others not so much. CE is too broad of a category to lump all these products together.
I agree with a number of posts here that it's the cost of electronic gadgets that has made people shy away from buying them this time around. What electronic gadget (that you can write home about) can you buy for $50 or even $75?
Well electronics had only so much to offer this year and that being the tablets. Other than that the digital cameras, LCD tvs, music players, PC's have all seen their peak already and were expected to remain flat or decline. So in a nutshell there wasn't anything compelling on the shelves which could make people shell out their HARD earned money. We have to treat this data with unemployment, and with current unemployment the sales did very well I suppose.
And yeah, 3D technology is still not giving a good trade off of in viewing experience Vs price.
The real drivers for electronics are paradigm shifts. The rise of the PC, the development of cellular, etc. Right now I am seeing two or three possibilities for new similar changes, which should bode well for the next decade or so.
Actually, the clothinig, travel and food that the author mentions in this article is most likely a part of the "wants" and not the " needs". Any increase in festive season spending mostly derives from people "wanting" to spend money. I think the shift has been from Consumer durables because of a saturation and lack of really exciting products!
Here I agree with you @phoenixdave, the analyst wants us to believe we have entered a new era and I am not buying what he is selling... I think we are seeing cautiously optimistic and pragmatic buying from a cautiously optimistic and pragmatic public.