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My old blogging colleague from my days at CBSnews.com, Erik Sherman, has some bad news for the gadget business:
For many years, experts kept talking about convergence and how amazing it would be for consumers. Well, it has finally arrived and, yup, it's pretty cool for regular people. But converged devices means that consumer won't need nearly as many gadgets, and fewer will be sold.
Erik brings this up as the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) opens in Las Vegas. He also references this dispiriting post from Kara Swisher at AllThingsD, which lays out some grim holiday sales numbers:
Blu-ray players: Down 17 percent.
Camcorders: Down 42.5 percent.
Digital picture frames: Down 37.5 percent.
GPS: Down 32.6 percent.
HDD: Down 25.1 percent.
Mice and keyboards: Down 7.1 percent.
MP3 players: Down 20.5 percent.
Multifunction printers: Down 9.9 percent.
Point-and-shoot cameras: Down 20.8 percent.