External power adapter and charger market to rise 19% by 2014

The external power adapter and charger market is expected to rise 19% by 2014 because of growth in the smartphone, video game, and tablet markets.


Energized by strong demand for a wide range of popular electronics products, the global market for external power adapters and chargers is expected to grow by more than $1 billion, or 19%, in just two years from 2012 to 2014, according to the report entitled “The World Market for External Power Adapters & Chargers” from IMS Research, now part of IHS Inc.

This year alone, market growth is forecast to reach almost 12%, picking up from the sluggish 5% increase seen in 2012. 

“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% 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% during the same period. 

A second growth area lies in tablet PCs, 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 tablet PCs is calculated to grow by $250 million from 2012 to 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% 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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