How Automakers Are Boosting the Tech Industry

The consumer electronics industry is still buzzing about the 2013 International CES held earlier this month. One bit of news that may have flown under the radar is that industry revenues are expected to grow about 3% this year -- the slowest growth rate since the recession.

Rex Moore was in Las Vegas for CES, and spoke with economist Shawn DuBravac about which pockets of the industry investors can look at. With Google's (NASDAQ: GOOGL  ) Android system and Apple's (NASDAQ: AAPL  ) iOS leading the way, Shawn expects tablets and smartphone sales to continue to be strong. Indeed, fourth-quarter sales figures were just released last week from International Data Corporation, and smartphones comprised 45.5% of all mobile phone shipments -- the highest percentage ever. IDC says Apple saw a doubling of shipments to China, and extremely strong demand for the older iPhone 4.

Perhaps not as intuitive, the auto industry is also expected to drive growth. Ford (NYSE: F  ) , General Motors (NYSE: GM  ) , and Toyota (NYSE: TM  ) all had a huge presence at the show and showed off a lot of electronics and software. Shawn says there is compounding growth effect happening with these manufacturers: Not only are they integrating more technology into their vehicles, but they're also selling more cars -- and consumers are bringing more of their own devices into the cars as well.

There's no doubt that Apple is at the center of technology's largest revolution ever, and that longtime shareholders have been handsomely rewarded with over 1,000% gains. However, there is a debate raging as to whether Apple remains a buy. The Motley Fool's senior technology analyst and managing bureau chief, Eric Bleeker, is prepared to fill you in on both reasons to buy and reasons to sell Apple, and what opportunities are left for the company (and more importantly, your portfolio) going forward. To get instant access to his latest thinking on Apple, simply click here now.


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