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Business

Electronics show to cement changing role of smartphones

Studies ahead of the Las Vegas Consumer Electronics Show (CES) indicate that sector growth will be limited in 2013. Although mobile devices are to keep surging, their success weighs on the sale of older electronics.

A survey presented ahead of the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas said there'd be only modest growth in the sector of 4.0 percent this year, with the industry expected to generate sales of $1.1 trillion (834 billion euros).

The forecast presented by the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) and the GfK Research Group on Monday claimed at least half of the revenues would come from mobile connected devices such smartphones, tablets and mobile computers.

It said that given a continuing contraction of many economies in western Europe and tepid growth in North America, the chief drivers of the tech growth would have to be found in emerging markets like China. The study warned that the surge in tablets and smartphones meant that more and more people would be doing without laptop computers, small televisons or even digital cameras, since many of their functions could now be used on a tablet or phone.

Telephony only a side aspect

CEA Chief Economist Shawn DuBravac told journalists on Monday the smartphone had become so successful it had become a hub for people's digital lives, and less of a communications device.

"We have moved away not only from telephony, but from communications being the primary part of these devices," DuBravac commented in Las Vegas.

The Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas opens on Tuesday and is the biggest sales fair of its kind globally. Most of the big names in the trade such Samsung, Sony or Panasonic will have four days to display their latest technological novelties and trends. But for the first time since 1995, US software giant Microsoft will not be represented at the fair.

hg/hc (AFP, dpa)