Retail revenue from consumer technology spending will reach a record $377 billion this year, a 6% increase over 2017, according to the Consumer Technology Association (CTA) mid-year update.
Market growth will be driven by artificial intelligence, voice-recognition technology and fast connectivity. Wi-Fi solutions, wireless earbuds and augmented and virtual reality headsets will each pass the $1 billion wholesale revenue mark for the first time, according to CTA.
"Innovations in AI, voice and connectivity are making tech devices more helpful and versatile, and changing our lives for the better," stated Gary Shapiro, CTA president and CEO.
The forecast reflects U.S. factory sales to dealers for more than 300 consumer technology products and related software and services. Key categories projected to contribute significantly to growth include smart speakers, smart home devices, whole home Wi-Fi solutions, drones and wearables.
"The new Internet of Things is the 'Intelligence of Things'," stated Steve Koenig, vice president of market research, CTA. "Connected products tap AI to enhance services, especially in categories including smartphones, connected cars and smart home devices. And with 5G on our doorstep - the first 5G products will hit the market this year - we're crossing into a new phase of faster and smarter connected devices."
The top three revenue drivers are smartphones, televisions and laptop and notebooks PCs. Laptop revenue is projected at $28.4 billion this year.
CTA projects sales of 5G smartphones next year will reach 2 million units and account for more than $1 billion in revenue.
Factory-installed auto-tech, including driver assist features, is projected to reach $15.7 billion, a 6% increase, while subscription music and video streaming services are projected to reach $19.7 billion.
CTA projects 39 million smart speakers will be sold, a 44% increase from last year, for revenue of $3.2 billion, 64% higher than last year.
Smart home devices such as smart thermostats, smart locks and doorbells are projected to sell 41 million units for revenue of $4.6 billion.