Asia CE makers ride innovation wave

Innovation not exclusive to any particular region, says tradeshow exec, who notes Asian consumer electronics companies "fast" moving away from pure manufacturing to be seen as creative entities.
Written by Liau Yun Qing, Contributor

SINGAPORE--Asian consumer electronics companies are rapidly shedding their manufacturing tag to become recognized as innovators, notes one industry observer.

During a media briefing here Wednesday, Brian Markwalter, vice president of research and standards at the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), said creation and innovation is happening around the world and no particular region has a lock on them. His comments were in response to a question on whether Asian companies are easing their manufacturing emphasis to become IT innovators.

Pointing to Haier's participation in this year's Consumer Electronics Show (CES), Markwalter noted that the Chinese electronics maker was there as a brand to showcase its creativity. CEA is the organizer of the annual event held each January.

The rise of patent applications from Asian companies also shows the region is "fast" shifting away from pure manufacturing roots to become creative entities, he added.

According to the CEA's projections, Asia--excluding Japan and China--will account for 12 percent of the consumer electronics purchases globally this year, churning US$115.7 billion in sales. Revenue growth of consumer electronics in the region will also increase by 12 percent this year, it predicted.

Citing research by the CEA on the consumer electronics industry, Markwalter said smartphones and tablets will be huge trends around the world this year.

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