) has been taking a beating with investors. The stock has
plummeted more than 31 percent since September 4, 2012. During
the fall period, Apple also sold
47.8 million iPhones
and nearly 23 million iPads. This year the company announced that
it had sold its
120 millionth tablet
, as well as its
25 billionth song
If the share price was the only thing Apple had to worry
about, its future would be very bright. Unfortunately, the
company's future could be jeopardized by overall market
conditions that are out of its control.
The NPD Group
, the U.S. consumer technology industry declined two percent in
overall sales last year. This led to a decline of more than $2
billion, bringing the industry's revenue down to $143
NPD detailed the top five technology firms in the chart below,
which shows that Apple products accounted for a significant
portion of the year's revenue.
Regardless of the success of any one company, there is no
denying that consumer technology is experiencing a downward
trend. The industry has lost $4 billion since 2010.
"While sales fell in consumer technology for the second
consecutive year, there was an uptick in Q4 which is cause for
optimism," Stephen Baker, VP of industry analysis at NPD, said in
. "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."
Tablets represented an important part of that growth. The
touchable slates enjoyed revenue growth of 42 percent last year.
This is slower than the rate experienced in 2011 (at which time
tablet revenue rose 135 percent), but it is still
Even if tablet sales continue to rise in 2013, tablet revenue
might have peaked with the success of the 10-inch tablet. Now
that Apple's iPad Mini, Google's (NASDAQ:
) Nexus 7 and Amazon's (NASDAQ:
) Kindle Fire are beginning to steal the spotlight, manufacturers
might have to accept weaker profit margins.
According to NPD, Best Buy (NYSE:
), Walmart (NYSE:
), Apple, Amazon, and Staples (NASDAQ:
) were the top retailers, while Apple, Samsung, HP, Sony, and
Dell were the top five brands. Those brands accounted for 45
percent of sales -- up from 42 percent in 2011.
The most interesting detail of all, however, may be that
flat-panel TVs -- which are largely believed to be a dying market
-- helped account for 53 percent of sales in 2012. TVs were
joined by notebooks, smartphones, tablets and desktop computers.
Of those devices, there is only one Apple does
not yet manufacture
(c) 2013 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment
advice. All rights reserved.
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