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External power adapter, charger market to grow 19% by 2014


As a result of the strong demand for various popular electronics products, the global market for external power adapters and chargers is predicted to rise by more than $1 billion, or 19 per cent, from 2012-2014. This is according to IHS Inc. that also revealed that this year alone, market growth will reach almost 12 per cent, picking up from the slow five per cent increase last year.

"Growth in the external power adapter market is being driven by strong end-demand for applications such as smartphones, tablets and light-emitting diode (LED) lighting," said Jonathon Eykyn, power supply and storage component analyst for IHS. "Moreover, the launch of next-generation game consoles by Microsoft and Sony later in the year will drive further growth."

One area of growth will be the smartphone market, which continues to expand strongly as consumers purchase the latest models from manufacturers such as Apple and Samsung. Further demand is coming from the developing markets where 3G—and in some cases, 4G networks—are being rolled out. Such developments on the whole will spur the growth of power adapters for smartphones by 40 per cent from 2012 to 2014, although growth projections for the longer term are much lower.

The adoption of smartphones will also reduce the demand for other types of mobile phones, causing the market for power adapters for non-smart phones to decline by 25 per cent during the same period.

A second growth area lies in tablets, where demand shows no signs of slowing. Apple still dominates sales, even though its market share has eroded as competing manufacturers release more products. Overall, the power adapter market for tablets is calculated to grow by $250 million from 2012-2014, with tablets fast becoming one of the largest segments for power adapters.

The third area of growth for power adapters is in video game consoles, set for robust expansion at the end of 2013 and throughout 2014 with the release of Microsoft's Xbox One and Sony's PlayStation 4. While Sony will continue to use an internal power supply in the new PlayStation like its previous generation of consoles, somewhat reducing the overall addressable market in the process, Microsoft will be using an external power supply—also like what it did in the past—which helps compensate for the loss of market from Sony's decision. Even so, the power adapter market for wired games consoles is forecast to grow by 45 per cent from 2012 to 2014.

The solid growth of the market as a whole will then slow down starting next year. To prepare for what lies ahead, suppliers should identify and target the markets that will provide them with future opportunities as demand starts to slow from traditional revenue sources, IHS believes.


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