October 17, 2008
| by Richard M. Sherwin
However, some segments of the CE market should remain pretty much price steady. “Our mobile business may even gain a little,” says Patrick Gunn, director of marketing for Electronic Arts’ mobile division. “Our software and other products that work with mobile phones, may actually see a slight sales increase in that communication products are predictably strong during financial or other crisis.”
Another segment of the market not seeing red is the Blu-Ray hardware and software market, “We have good reason to predict that this Q4 sales period will see the Blu-ray Disc revolution take hold in US mainstream markets and we will witness strong sales performance in every other geographical region,” says a spokesman for the BDA global promotions committee. A U.S. representative also echoed the worldwide expectations, “we realize there is a serious financial constraint on the U.S. market, but home electronics entertainment may be the best remedy for the recession weary consumer.”
Other reports indicated that a slowdown in HD sales may have a silver lining for cable companies like Comcast, Time Warner and Cablevision. Most industry wags agree that Verizon has been dominating the cable companies because of the tremendous success of the FiOS system. DirecTV and Verizon have been very successful at luring away cable customers. Will a slowdown in HDTV sales have an adverse effect on Verizon? It’s a double edge sword says Wanger. “On hand they may lose some energy in their FiOS business, but all providers may gain as more people stay home.”
“Anybody is foolish to predict anything in this economy, but there is reason to believe there could be positives as people stay home to save money,” says Verizon spokesman Eric Rabe.
Richard Sherwin is a former syndicated technology columnist and TV/Radio analyst, who has also been a marketing executive with IBM, Philips, NBC and a chief advisor to several manufacturers and service providers.