One-Fifth of 2012 US Consumer Technology Spending Went to Apple

Apple’s sales in the United States accounted for the largest share of revenue among all consumer technology firms in 2012, according to data published Tuesday by NPD and reported by AppleInsider. The company also did well in terms of consumer technology retailers, taking third place behind Best Buy and Walmart, and beating Amazon and Staples.

Apple’s share of U.S. revenue among companies that make consumer technology products rose 2.6 percent, from 17.3 percent in 2011 to 19.9 percent in 2012. Only rival Samsung saw a similar gain year-over-year, raising its share of U.S. revenue from 7.0 to 9.3 percent. All other companies in the top five, which also comprised HP, Sony, and Dell, lost overall revenue share in 2012.

NPD Consumer Revenue Share 2012

These changes resulted in a combined $6.5 billion increase in sales during 2012 for Apple and Samsung, compared to an overall decline in the consumer technology industry of $9.5 billion. However, a stronger fourth quarter for the industry overall gave analysts optimism for 2013 performance. Stephen Baker, vice president of industry analysis for NPD, explained in the company’s report:

While sales fell in consumer technology for the second consecutive year, there was an uptick in Q4 which is cause for optimism. After struggles with declining categories, and increasingly saturated markets over the last few years, fourth quarter’s results may be the first sign that even as a mature industry consumer technology can grow again, albeit with a very different dynamic than in previous growth spurts.

As mentioned above, Apple was also a significant contributor to consumer technology retail sales, taking third place in the U.S. by revenue of technology products, behind only Best Buy and Walmart.

In an area that may be of interest to Apple going forward, the NPD report notes that flat panel television sales saw a 7 percent decline in overall revenue during 2012, after suffering a 5 percent revenue decline in 2011. It is widely believed that Apple is considering an entry into the television market with the release of an interactive, or “smart,” television product that will integrate with company’s existing iTunes and iOS ecosystems. Analysts predict that such a product will be unveiled by Apple later in 2013 or possibly 2014.