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The Silicon Labs' Z-Wave Deal May Herald New Dawn for Smart Homes

2018 could bring a breakthrough in smart home device interoperability. Silicon Labs - a Texas based manufacturer of ZigBee, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth chips - is set to buy the Z-Wave operations of Sigma Designs for $240 million. The deal could boost the $6 billion Smart Home industry*, which is already expected to grow strongly in the coming years.  Sil ...

Increased Bundling of Premium Headphones By Mobile Handset Vendors Could Impact Audio Retailers' Bottom Line

This year at IFA 2017, LG announced that it will bundle its flagship V30 smartphone with B&O Play headphones. LG’s smartphone audio is tuned by B&O and the headphones are made specifically to produce optimum playback with the V30 handset. This follows Samsung bundling AKG headphones (which it now owns via its Harman acquisition) exclusively ...

CEDIA Expo 2017: Where High-End Audio Met Smart Home, Whilst Amazon Extended Its Reach into Both Sectors

Anyone who doubts the existence of the inextricable link between custom installation (CI) and high-end audio in the US would have been quickly convinced by a visit to CEDIA in San Diego, held on 7-9 September. Futuresource Consulting sent analysts who are focused on both audio and smart home to the event, which attracted a large number of delegates ...

Smart Speaker Market Grows 843% in Units in Q2 2017, While Q3 is on Course to Break More Records (Year-on-Year)

4.2 million Smart Speakers shipped in Q2, with sales dominated by the US and UK markets despite availability extending to Germany, China and South Korea during the quarter. Adoption in the US and UK has been relatively swift, with penetration standing at 6% and 3% respectively and with each home owning a little over two speakers per home, on averag ...

Retailers, Service Providers and Custom Installers Drive Smart Home Growth

41 million smart home devices will ship in 2017 globally, representing a retail value of $7.9 billion. Revenues are expected to triple by 2021, making this category one of the strongest growth categories within consumer electronics. This will be helped by added store space dedicated to smart home, the bundling of smart home devices with services an ...

Sony Shows a New Direction for Smart Devices in the Home, with the Xperia Touch

Sony’s Xperia Touch is a short throw projector with Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and NFC connectivity for easy pairing and streaming. It has 3GB of RAM, 32GB of built-in (and expandable) storage and is driven by a Snapdragon 650 processor. The device also includes a 13MP camera, speakers and a microphone. So far it doesn’t sound too dis-similar to a smartphone ...

Pay-TV Companies Offering Soundbars New Routes to Market

Sky’s decision to offer a discounted soundbar to its subscribers is another example of how the Pay-TV giant is exploring every avenue to offer a high quality A/V experience that will reduce subscriber churn and possibly attract new viewers. However, it also comes at an interesting time for the soundbar, sales of which have lost momentum in the UK. ...

RED: The Next Step in Smartphone Imaging, or the Next Step in Digital Cinema Cameras?

One of the leading digital cinema camera vendors will be joining the battle for smartphone brand share in Q1 2018. RED, known for initiating the digital revolution in the cinema camera market, has launched limited details of HYDROGEN ONE, a RED smartphone.Details are limited, leaving the small, but highly loyal RED customer base, and other spectato ...

Apple Unveils its HomePod Smart Speaker

On Monday Apple launched its Smart Speaker which it called HomePod. Costing $349 it won’t be available until December 2017 and will launch initially only in the US, UK and Australia (which combined represent around half of Apple’s consumer revenues and are important launchpads for new Apple categories). Unlike its competition in the Smart Speaker c ...

Where Next for Personal Electronics?

Since launching with the Walkman in the early 80’s, the personal electronics market has grown to reach $540 billion in retail value in 2016 and supports a market of accessories worth a further $60 billion. The market is characterised by many failed, forgotten or fading products, such as the mini-disc player, ebook and pager, but ultimately is a mar ...

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Here at Futuresource Consulting we deliver specialist research and consulting services, providing market forecasts and intelligence reports. Since the 1980s we have supported a range of industry sectors, which has grown to include: CE, Broadcast, Entertainment Content, EdTech and many more.