Global spending on consumer technology is expected to slip this year due to factors including a strong U.S. dollar and political uncertainty prompted by Brexit and President-elect Donald Trump
Consumer Technology Association Senior Director of Market Research Steve Koenig revealed the U.S. trade group's new forecast here late Tuesday, predicting the amount of money people around the world spend on smartphones and other gadgets this year would tally $929 billion as compared to $950 billion in 2016. Koenig said the "underpinning" of the global forecast was "uncertainty with the election of Trump and with Brexit."
"This air of uncertainty certainly is going to impact discretionary spending of consumers; business investment, and investment by governments," Koenig contended.
Nearly half of the money spent on consumer technology will be for smartphones, which were forecast to account for 47 percent of spending on devices.
"Mobility really does make the world go around," Koenig said.
Koenig said during a CTA presentation ahead of the official opening of the Consumer Electronics Show here this week.
"The smartphone is the center of the consumer technology universe."
Meanwhile, Chinese electronics giant Huawei announced Tuesday a global launch of its mid-range Honor 6x smartphone, which includes dual-lens camera technology and is aimed at young consumers.The smartphone, which was launched in China last year, will be available in 13 new markets this month, including the United States, at a price of $249 to $299, the company announced at the Consumer Electronics Show in las Vegas.
Elsewhere at the Consumer Electronics Show, Faraday Future, the secretive electric car startup with ambitions to overtake Tesla, unveiled its first production vehicle Tuesday, proclaiming it to be a "new species" for personal transportation. The company, backed by Chinese billionaire Jia Yueting (YT Jia), announced at the Consumer Electronics Show that it would begin taking reservations for deliveries in 2018 with a $5,000 deposit for its FF91 model. Faraday, which last year unveiled its prototype and is building a factory outside Las Vegas, did not offer details on pricing of the new vehicle. But it touted specifications on battery range, power and acceleration that pointed to a high-end vehicle, outperforming Tesla on key benchmarks. In one key benchmark, the Faraday offers an estimated 378 miles (604 kilometers) of range before needing recharging, based on U.S. testing standards, better than Tesla's 315 miles. Based on European testing standards, the range is 700 kilometers or some 435 miles.
Meanwhile, Tesla said Tuesday production last year surged 64 percent compared to 2015, but the company missed its delivery target for the final three months of 2016.
Tesla produced 24,882 vehicles in the final quarter of the year, resulting in a total production of 83,922 vehicles in 2016. However, the company said it hit its production goal and had 6,450 vehicles in transit to customers that will count towards the first quarter delivery total.