As the global recession continues to bite just about everyone but the bankers who caused it, the US Consumer Electronics Association has warned that overall revenues within the consumer electronics industry are likely to fall by 7.7% to $165 billion by the end of 2009.
However, it isn't all doom and gloom as the CEA expects a small bounce of 0.7% growth in 2010.
It also forecasts some isolated sectors of the industry to show growth during 2009. Most notably, sales of Blu-ray players are expected to grow by 112% to six million total sales by the end of the year.
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Budget Blu-ray oplayers to the rescue?
According to Steve May, editor of Home Cinema Choice this rise could well be driven by budget Blu-ray players dipping below the £100 price point:
"Blu-ray is heading for the mainstream," he said. "We've already seen Aldi open the door, with a supermarket Blu-ray player for £140. There's no doubt other no-name brands will follow and find an audience through high street outlets like Comet and Currys. It's only a question of when, not if, the major players break the £100 barrier.'
In related news, the one time champion of the now defunct HD-DVD format, Toshiba, could well be about to launch its own Blu-ray player.
After losing the next-gen Hi-Def battle to the Sony-backed Blu-ray camp, Toshiba has spent most of the past 18 months licking its wounds and concentrating efforts on regular DVD upscaling technology. However, according to a report in a Japanese magazine the electronics giant is planning to launch both a player and a recorder before the end of the year.