The steady stream of upbeat sales statistics that roll out of the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) nearly always paint the sunniest side of life in the gadget world.
However the latest claim, in anticipation of the January CES trade show in Las Vegas, Nev., had even the most hardcore PR folks doing a double take. The association is claiming that high-tech consumer electronics may have replaced diamonds as a girlâ€™s best friend. Although the CEA insists itâ€™s true, the new statistics drew a hearty round of laughter from reporters covering the CEAâ€™s announcement.
Fifty-eight percent of women surveyed responded that they would choose a high-definition television over a one-karat diamond ring, and 64 percent said they would choose a digital camera over half-karat diamond stud earrings, the CEA claimed.
Women's interest in technology products is on the rise as well, with 42 percent of women expressing interest in consumer electronics products, both established and new. In fact, the CEA claimed, when compared to men, women expressed a higher level of interest in both color TVs (63 percent) and digital cameras (43 percent).
Women's ownership of consumer electronics products has also increased. Twenty percent of women own a laptop computer, compared to just 12 percent in 2000. Nearly two-thirds of women own a cellular or PCS phone, up from 49 percent in 2000, and 58 percent own a handheld music device, compared to 51 percent in 2000.
Almost half (49 percent) of all electronics purchases are initiated exclusively by women, the CEA said, which is up from 40 percent in 1998. â€śFemale consumers spend approximately $55 billion each year on consumer technology productsâ€š that's nearly half of the total consumer electronics market,â€ť said Sean Wargo, director of industry analysis for the CEA.
The CEA has also initiated a new product showcase for CES targeted to women. Itâ€™s called, â€śTechnology is a Girlâ€™s Best Friend.â€ť
The â€śWomen, Men and CEâ€šâ€ť survey was conducted via telephone interview with a random national sample of 1,000 U.S. adults during October 2002. The complete survey is available free to CEA member companies.
Non-members may purchase the study for $499 by visiting www.eBrain.org.
For more information visit www.ce.org.