SAN FRANCISCO—Rapidly growing sales of multifunction products like media tablets and smartphones are coming at the expense of demand for single-task consumer electronics products, according to market research firm IHS iSuppli, which projects sluggish sales for single-task devices like MP3 players and digital still cameras through at least 2015.
Shipments of smartphones and tablets will rise at compound annual growth rates (CAGRs) of 28.5 percent and 72.1 percent, respectively, for the years 2010 to 2015, according to IHS. Meanwhile, shipments of portable navigation devices (PNDs), portable media players (PMPs)/MP3 players and digital still cameras (DSCs) will either decline or remain flat during the same period of time, according to the firm's projections.
"The success of multipurpose electronic equipment, often coming at the expense of devices dedicated to a single task, is reshaping the landscape of the consumer electronics industry," said Jordan Selburn, principal analyst for consumer platforms at IHS, in a statement.
Selburn noted that the once red-hot MP3 player market has started an irreversible decline as smartphones and other products have added audio functionality as part of a much broader suite of features. Other products, including PNDs and DSCs have also been hurt, Selburn said.
"In many cases, users can replace a slew of dedicated systems with just one multipurpose device, gaining functionality and portability while simultaneously saving money," Selburn said.
Selburn said the arrival of tablets—a product category that continues to be dominated by Apple Inc.'s iPad—have put even more pressure on sales of single-task devices. Tablets can quite capably provide the functionality of e-book readers, music and video players, gaming platforms, PNDs and cameras in a single product, Selburn noted.
"The story of consumer electronics is an ongoing survival of the fittest, and multi-tasking systems such as media tablets will have a hand in turning yesterday’s hot consumer electronics gear into tomorrow’s fossils," Selburn said.
IHS projects that shipments of tablets will rise to 262.1 million units in 2015, up from 17.4 million in 2010. Smartphone shipments are projected to increase to more than 1 billion units in 2015, up from 294.3 million in 2010, according to the firm.
Meanwhile, global PMP/MP3 shipments are set to fall to 126.8 million units in 2015, declining at a CAGR of negative 6.8 percent from 180.1 million in 2010, IHS said. By contrast, PMP/MP3 shipments rose at a CAGR of 38.7 percent during the previous five-year period from 2004 through 2009, according to the firm,
IHS projects that PND shipments will decline to 37.2 million units in 2015, with a CAGR of negative 2.2 percent from 41.5 million units in 2010. This compares to a booming 88.9 percent CAGR from 2004 to 2009, according to the firm.