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Americans Spend $1,200 A Year On Tech Gadgets

Two of the fastest movers and shakers in the consumer electronics industry are devices that enable home networking.

U.S. households are spending an average of $1,200 a year on electronic gadgets, and are building more home networks, an annual survey showed.

The average home has 25 consumer-electronic devices, with the top five growth sectors being digital video recorders, network routers or hubs, MP3 players, cable modems, and digital cameras, according to a report published Thursday by the Consumer Electronics Association.

"It's interesting to note here that two of the fastest movers and shakers in the CE industry are devices that enable home networking," CEA research analyst Elena Caudle said in a statement. "The other three products enable consumers to create, shift or transport digital content."

While adults spend $1,200 annually on CE products, teens spend $350 a year, which is about half of their total discretionary income, the trade group said. Adults with children and teens spend up to $500 more on CE purchases than the national average.

Fully 30% of U.S. households owned a router or hub, which is 8% more than last year; and 62% owned a cable modem, 6% more than 2006, the CEA said. Digital video recorders were in 25% of U.S. households, an increase of 8%; while MP3 player ownership was up 7% to 32% of households. Digital-camera ownership rose to 62% of households.

The five most owned products were televisions, 92% of households; DVD players, 84%; cordless phones, 82%; and cellular phones, 76%. Because of their prevalence, sales of these items were expected to grow as a result of upgrades and replacements.

"Some of the more intriguing categories are those that still occupy niche markets, such as mobile CE devices like GPS systems and satellite radio, which have seen healthy growth in the past few years," Caudle said.

Other product categories with significant growth included high-definition TVs, which are in a quarter of U.S. homes, the CEA said.

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