According to electronics wholesaler Jason Floarea, the face of the consumer electronics industry is changing about as rapidly as technology itself—and indeed, as developers continue to unveil new products and devices, consumer trends are in a state of flux. To illustrate his point, Floarea points to a recent article from Bloomberg, which notes that shoppers are increasingly favoring smartphones and tablets, at the expense of personal desktop computers. Jason Floarea has responded to this development, and commented on consumer electronics trends in general, in a new statement to the press.
The Bloomberg report affirms that, in 2013, shipments of tablets are estimated to skyrocket, increasing by a staggering 70 percent. This leap is expected to be expedited by the advent of more and more lower-priced tablet products. As tablet sales soar, smartphone shipments are expected to do likewise; indeed, phones like the iPhone and Samsung’s S4 are predicted to advance by around 48 percent.
While these trends take U.S. electronics retailers and wholesalers into uncharted territory, Floarea says that it is hardly surprising, given overseas trends. “China, Hong Kong, and Singapore’s consumers have spent more time on smartphones and tablets long before the numbers wave ever hit America,” he notes. “Manufacturers are shocked at the rate of this dedication to embracing cell phones and tablets as the only way of using electronics, but global trends indicate that this is simply where things are headed, in the U.S. as well as abroad.”
Indeed, while tablet and smartphone sales continue to rise, the sales of desktops, laptops, and notebook computers are expected to diminish slightly—with shipments falling by about 3.5 percent in 2013. Excluding the newest and slimmest models, shipments of traditional PCs are expected to drop by a more-significant 7.6 percent.
The reasons for these fluctuating sales statistics are myriad, but Bloomberg suggests that changing consumer behavior has much to do with it. Simply put, customers are using mobile devices—tablets and smartphones alike—for more and more of their daily computing needs, rendering desktop and laptop computers increasingly irrelevant.
Some companies have benefitted greatly from these trends, while other electronics manufacturers have struggled. In the former column are Apple and Samsung, both known as innovators in tablet and smartphone technologies; both companies have seen sales and profits soar in recent months. Meanwhile, revenue at companies more focused on conventional PCs—including Dell, Hewlett-Packard, and Microsoft—have dwindled.
“This is undoubtedly bad news for vendors that only have PCs to offer,” opines Floarea, in his press statement. “This decline in PC sales is happening very quickly, probably more so than many manufacturers may have imagined.”
Indeed, even the best efforts of companies like Microsoft to reinvigorate PC sales seem to be languishing. Microsoft’s most recent overhaul to its Windows operating system was seen by many as an attempt to boost traditional computer sales, but the continuing plummet in PC shipments indicates that these efforts were unsuccessful.
Another factor working against Microsoft is the increased importance of what Bloomberg calls the smartphone and tablet “ecosystem.” As consumers spend more and more time on their mobile devices, an immersive and seamless user experience—like that offered by Apple’s App store or Google’s Play—is becoming paramount. Indeed, as consumers are increasingly prone to purchasing apps through these online outlets, Microsoft’s more traditional approach to software sales is in danger of becoming obsolete. This is especially true as more and more apps delve into specialized or niche functions; Bloomberg notes, by way of example, that tax preparation apps are plentiful, meaning there is not much need for the average consumer to hold onto programs like Microsoft Excel.
Microsoft is hardly the only company that’s having a hard time swimming against the tide of changing consumer trends. Dell, too, has long been associated with traditional software and PC sales, and as such its fortunes have grown increasingly grim. Currently, Bloomberg notes, company founder Michael Dell is seeking to take the company private as a way to adjust to changing business needs.
“Apple, Samsung, and Google are all doing quite well in this new consumer environment, and it is because these are the companies most clearly attuned to changing consumer needs and demands,” notes Floarea. “They are focusing on giving consumers the experience they want, and it’s obviously paying off handsomely.”
Jason Floarea is a veteran of consumer electronics sales, and he currently serves in a leadership role at Ace Wholesale, which provides customers around the United States with superior deals on new and used consumer electronics products.
Jason Floarea is a business veteran who currently leads Electronics Trading; a consumer electronics wholesale company, Electronics Trading provides cost-effective deals in used, new, and refurbished electronics. The business has locations in Miami, Seattle, Chicago, Atlanta, and beyond.