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Flagship CEA Study Reveals Ownership of Smartphones Surpasses Basic Cell Phones for the First Time

Two-thirds (64 percent) of U.S. households now own smartphones, surpassing ownership of basic cell phones (51 percent) for the first time, according to a new study released today by the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA)®. The 16th Annual Household CE Ownership and Market Potential Study also shows consumer appetite for mobile products remained strong in 2013, and the mobility trend will continue in 2014 with four of the top five planned purchases this year focused on a mobile lifestyle.

Top Planned Technology Purchases

In 2014, the top consumer electronics (CE) products U.S. households plan to purchase are smartphones (27 percent) and over- or on-the-ear headphones (27 percent). Also among the top planned purchases are televisions (20 percent); laptop, notebook or netbook computers (18 percent); and tablets (16 percent).

Continued Growth of Connected Devices

Over the last year, households continued to buy connected devices at a strong clip, and several categories saw especially strong growth. The highest gains in household penetration came from Internet-enabled TVs, Blu-ray Disc players, tablets, smartphones and portable wireless speakers.

      Percentage Point
Product   2013   2014   Increase
Internet-enabled TV   15%*  


  9 pts.
Blu-ray Disc player   31%   39%   8 pts.
Tablet   39%   45%   6 pts.
Smartphone   58%   64%   6 pts.
Portable wireless speakers which are Bluetooth, Wi-Fi or Airplay-enabled   25%   30%*   5 pts.

*Figure based on CE MarketMetrics shipment data


“Building on consecutive years of strong, mobile device adoption, consumers continue to embrace a connected lifestyle in the home and on the go,” said Kevin Tillmann, senior research analyst, market research at CEA. “Consumers are now turning to many of the emerging connected products entering the market today, such as smart watches, connected fitness devices and smart thermostats.”

Emerging Technologies

With large installed bases of mobile and connected devices, households are now beginning to reveal some interest in new tech products. Smart watch ownership is currently under two percent, but expected to more than triple by 2015. Similarly, eight percent of households expect to own a fitness activity tracker by next year, up from five percent in 2014. Also, ownership of smart thermostats is expected to grow from three percent of households to five percent of households by next year.

Where Consumers Are Buying

Despite the continued growth of online retail sales, 85 percent of U.S. households purchasing CE products in the last year did so at brick-and-mortar retail stores. Overall, households that bought CE devices over the past year say they are 49 percent more likely to make CE purchases online in the year to come.

The 16th Annual Household CE Ownership and Market Potential Study (April 2014) was conducted between January 24-27 and January 30-February 3, 2014. It was designed and formulated by CEA Market Research, the most comprehensive source of sales data, forecasts, consumer research and historical trends for the consumer electronics industry. Please cite any information to the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA)®. The complete study is available for free for CEA member companies at members.CE.org. Non-members may purchase the study for $1,500 at the CEA Store.

About CEA:

The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) is the technology trade association representing the $208 billion U.S. consumer electronics industry. More than 2,000 companies enjoy the benefits of CEA membership, including legislative advocacy, market research, technical training and education, industry promotion, standards development and the fostering of business and strategic relationships. CEA also owns and produces the International CES – The Global Stage for Innovation. All profits from CES are reinvested into CEA’s industry services. Find CEA online at www.CE.org, www.DeclareInnovation.com and through social media.


  • 2014 Technology & Standards Spring Forum
    May 19-23, 2014, Seattle, WA
  • CES Unveiled Warsaw
    June 17, 2014, Warsaw, Poland
  • CE Week
    June 23-27, 2014, New York, NY
    • CE Week Exhibits
      June 25-26, 2014, New York, NY
  • CEA Innovate!
    Sept. 30-Oct. 2, 2014, Phoenix, AZ
  • CES Unveiled Paris
    October 22, 2014, Paris, France
  • CE Hall of Fame Dinner
    November 10, 2014, New York, NY
  • CES Unveiled New York
    November 11, 2014, New York, NY
  • CES Unveiled Las Vegas
    January 4, 2015, Las Vegas, NV
  • 2015 International CES
    January 6-9, 2015, Las Vegas, NV

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