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Consumer tech market will hit $2.1 trillion in 2012, says Gartner

Market for consumer mobile services, phones and digital entertainment is projected to reach $2.7 trillion worldwide in 2016

Consumers worldwide are projected to spend some spend $2.1 trillion in 2012 on digital information and entertainment products, such as mobile phones, computing equipment, digital media and services, according to Gartner.

The Gartner projection for 2012 is $114 billion more than was spent in 2011, a growth trend the researcher expects will continue over the next five years. Gartner expects spending on consumer technologies and services will grow by $130 billion worldwide a year through 2016, when it projects that it will reach $2.7 trillion. "The three largest segments of the consumer technology market are, and will continue to be, mobile services, mobile phones and entertainment services," said Gartner analyst Amanda Sabia in a statement.

Consumer spending on mobile apps stores and e-text content is expected to triple by 2016 -- from $18 billion in 2012 to $61 billion, Sabia added. Spending on e-text content (e-books, online news, magazines and information services) will rise from $5 billion in 2012 to $16 billion by 2016, she said.

Mobile phones will account for 10% or $222 billion of the total consumer tech market in 2012. The total is expected to climb to almost $300 billion by 2016.

Entertainment services, including cable, satellite, IPTV and online gaming is expected to grow from $210 billion this year to almost $290 billion in 2016, according to Gartner.

"Our research consistently shows that consumers are willing to pay for content they deem 'worth it'," Sabia said.

"However, our research has also found that consumers are willing to tolerate an ad-supported business model in exchange for free functions and content such as personal cloud storage, social networking, information searching, email, IM, person-to-person (P2P) voice (Skype and mobile voice over IP [VoIP]), streaming/downloading video and musical content when accessing the Internet., she added.

Lucas Mearian covers storage, disaster recovery and business continuity, financial services infrastructure and health care IT for Computerworld. Follow Lucas on Twitter at @lucasmearian, or subscribe to Lucas's RSS feed . His e-mail address is [email protected].

Read more about mobile/wireless in Computerworld's Mobile/Wireless Topic Center.

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