The WAVE Report
Issue #0611------------------3/17/06

The WAVE Report archive is available on


0611.1 Story of the Issue

PMA 2006

0611.2 Business IP Telephony Growth

InfoTech Study: Small and Medium Business Market for IP Telephony Rises by 36 Percent in 2005

0611.3 Residential VoIP Statistics

VoIP Slowly Gaining Ground as Residential Phone Service

0611.4 Improving Server Processors

Intel Boosts Energy-Efficient Performance With First Dual-Core Low-Voltage Intel Xeon Processor

0611.5 Consumer Electronics

Consumer Electronics Industry Shows Robust Growth in Employment and Productivity

0611.6 Important Off-Topic: Tax Advice

Tax Paperwork: Important Documents or an Identity Thief's Dream?

0611.1 Story of the Issue

***PMA 2006
By John Latta

Orlando, FL
February 26 – 28, 2006

This is the 82nd annual event of the Photo Marketing Association which has 20,000 members. There are over 600 exhibitors. The event fills a significant portion of the Orange Country Convention Center. The photo imaging industry is in a state of transformation. Film is dead. A high end film camera every 10 years has been replaced by a turn over of the complete product line every 18 months. The mega pixel wars have subsided and overtaken by feature wars. Cameras have WiFi built in, motion blur reduction, integration of video with still images, and auto red eye removal. But as cell phone cameras become more mainstream the potential to undercut the still camera market looms. At the center of this market turmoil is the simple fact that imaging is personal media. Consumers do not care about DRM but how to make digital as easy and emotionally as important as film, in all its forms, from the taking to the printed expression.

Cameras Show Significant Growth

Market Statistics Summary

NPD Group

Camera Sales
Digital and Film
US 2005
$5.9 B

Greatest Sector Growth

Lens Sales
$235.1 m

Camera Cases/Bags
$128.1 m

Flash Units
$54.6 m

$49.9 m

Market Share by Pixels Captured
5m pixel – 37%
3m pixel – 13% (drop of 37.5% over previous year)

Mobil Phone Cameras
45% of US phones were camera phones
64% of Europe phones were camera phones
90% of Japan phones were camera phones


An important driver behind today’s photo printer sales, thus home print volumes, is the growth in digital camera sales. Digital camera sales grew 39 percent in 2004, and 13 percent in 2005. Home printing growth in the same periods was 24 and 20 percent, respectively. New camera users are attracted to photo printers as their means to 24/7 access to printing services at home.

Home and retail printing: Digital cameras have revolutionized the personal photo experience at all levels, including the introduction of new printing options for consumers. Almost 4 billion photo prints were made on home printers in 2005, up 24 percent from the previous year. The volume of home prints is expected to reach 4.6 billion in 2005, a 20-percent increase.

Excluding cameraphones, single-use cameras and tethered computer video cameras, total camera demand was about flat in 2005 at 24.8 million camera units. The contribution of film cameras to the total sales mix was just 17.5 percent in 2005 and expected to be about 10 percent by 2007.

The number of cameraphones in operation is expected to have almost doubled in 2005, reaching 30 million units, from 16 million in 2004. The penetration of cameraphones is also thought to have already surpassed 20 percent of the 115 million U.S. households.

So far, cameraphones have had limited success in penetrating uses traditionally held by digital camera users, like preserving memories or printing. Limitations are posed by, most notably, low-resolution sensors, no flash, low storage capacity, difficult user interface and limited connectivity options.

Film sales: Digital cameras’ popularity is reflected in the downward trends in demand for film cameras, films sales, and film processing. Single-use (disposable) cameras accounted for 40 percent of total film sales in 2005 and are expected to be almost half of the film sales in 2006. The rate of decline in total film demand was 23 percent in 2005 and is expected to remain in the low 20’s in 2006. The film processing market is expected to decline 23 percent in 2006 in terms of units and value.

Will the Cell Phone Compete with the Digital Still Camera?

A panel discussion was held with industry participants on both sides. The overall view was that the cell phone camera is complementary to the DSC. But it was stated that in emerging markets that the only camera many have is what comes with the cell phone. Thus, the emergence of imaging could well be not DSC based in the less well developed markets.

Points raised in the discussion include:

Cell phone cameras are connected but this is also changing with DSC that included embedded WiFi;

Cell phone cameras have limited functionality compared to DSC but the capabilities of cell cameras is rising with zoom lenses, auto focus and higher resolutions; and

Cell phone cameras are carried everywhere where DSC are not.

One was left with the distinct impression that technically these two expressions of cameras are complementary today but in the future they well may be direct competitors. In the end the issue will be network connectivity and not the cameras and feature wars.

PMA Announces MPPI

PMA is advocating MPI, Mobil Photo Provider Interface, as a means to allow cell phone users to print pictures taken from phones. This standard is in two phases. Phase I allows users to find a Qualified Digital Processing Center (QDPC). When in the center the phone can be lined to a photo kiosk with Bluetooth, IR or removable media in the phone. Photos can then be picked up following processing. Phase II, which is now in Beta, allows users to transmits the pictures to a QDPC and pick them up after processing.

EZPnP – New Handheld Portable Backup and Display

Building on the iPod interface the DM180 has a one touch user interface. It has the ability to accept PC Card, Microdrive, SD and Memory Stick media. MPEG-4, WMA and MP3 is supported but not MPEG-2. The unit also supports USB OTG 2.0. There is a 2” LCD TFT display for viewing. It makes backup copies from the input media to HDD. The price is expected to be $399.

ZoomAlbum – Photo Albums in the Palm of the Hand

ZoomAlbum is software, printer paper and an album cover. A kit of these costs $24.95. A finished album, with hard cover, is 3” square. The user selects photos, prints a page and assembles an album which uses sticky adhesive backed sheets. This is inserted into the album which has a hard cover.

Pictronic – Frame Prints Using Standard Paper Media

Pictronic takes different approach to creating a framed picture. Rather than front lighting of a print or back lighting of a transparency it uses a bright light to illuminate a paper print. The results were quite impressive. However, one could not have writing on the back of the print. The wholesale 5 X 7 frame is $20.

PXL Soft – Digital Album Creation with Dg Foto Art

PXL has developed a portfolio of software products for the creation of photo albums. These are called: Gold, Gold Client, Classic, Lite and Designer. The prices range from $649 to $249. The Software uses a template for album page creation. Supporting the templates are elements that include: frames, borders, masks, clipart and backgrounds. At the Gold level it is possible to do image editing. Classic has been selling for over 2 years and the Gold version ships in April. The software is dongle activated.

JVC – Takes the Camcorder to New Levels of Utility

JVC with is Everio products has taken the camcorder where others have avoided – hard disk based. This reached new levels with the G series which support 20GB and 30GB embedded drives. These camcorders fit in the palm of one’s hand. Further, there is support for 16:9 format using a 2.2M pixel CCD. The optical zoom is 32X. One of the strengths of the Everio is that it supports MPEG-2 which makes it compatible with DVD. JVC was also showing the CU-DV10 docking station that allows for direct writing of DVDs from the camcorder.

Software is also provided which allows for:

Video clip playback on a PC;
Video authoring for DVD creation and
Non-linear editing.

pqi shows the P600

Continuing its presence in the media player space pqi exhibited the P600 which supports 800 X 576 resolution on a 4” TFT LCD screen. The HDD can be either 20 or 30GB. USB OTG is also supported. The P600 will also playback digital albums and digital audio.

Sony Enters the Photo Playback Market

About ½ the size of a DVD player the HDPS-L1. Media formats supported include: Memory Stick, SD, MMC and xD Picture cards. The software can organize the content into presentations. High Definition displays are supported with an appropriate display. The HDD is 80GB. Price is $299 with shipments at the end of May.

Star-E – Digital Frames go Commodity

Star-E was showing a family of TFT LCD digital frames. These range in diagonal sizes from 5” to 12”. The 12” frame sells FOB Taiwan for $140.

Nikon Announces Camera with WiFI Connectivity

As an extension to its line of cameras with WiFi Nikon added the Nikon S6 for $450. There is a 1/2.5-inch CCD and 6.0 effective megapixel resolution. The lens is 3x Zoom-Nikkor ED lens with a range of 35-105mm (35mm equivalent) with macro photography as close as 4cm.

Cannon Supports WiFI in Camera

The PowerShot SD430 has an 802.11b interface along with a 5m pixel sensor. The optical zoom is 3X.

FotoNation Supports UWB

FotoNation announced an in-camera module which will support wireless USB 2.0. The UWB module was co-developed by FotoNation, Wisair and Slyde Technologies. The module is based on the Wisair's Ultra -Wideband chipset, Slyde's DropIntegrationT architecture, and FotoNation's PTP technology. Connectivity is accomplished with a wireless USB dongle connected to a PC. The embedded wireless USB camera provides data transfer rates of up to 480 Mbps.

Eastman Kodak Updates Kiosk for Digital Printing

The WAVE used the Kodak G4 Digital Station and Kodak G4 Print Station with the new DP1 software to see, process and print images taken on the floor. Overall we were impressed with:

Overall speed of operation but some operations, such as skipping between many images were slower;

Many of the screen actions we intuitive and the on-screen navigation was easy; and

We were disappointed that the color balance adjustment was not better.

The prints were all borderless and thus the same aspect ratio was preserved. It was not possible to crop a picture to suit the desired image unless the aspect ratio was preserved.

Printing is done with dye sublimation technology with Kodak enhancements to protect the print. The system is modular allowing the retailer to add stations or printers as demand merits. The overall integration was professional. A basic module costs approximately $8,500 which includes a Digital Station and two Print Stations.

Logitech Targets Creative Professionals and More

Logitech is leveraging its presence on the desktop to extend the functionality of the keyboard and mouse with a third device called the NuLOOQ navigator which is the size of ½ of a tennis ball and is controlled by the non-mouse hand - $149.95. Bundled with the device is software to manage the user interface - NuLOOQ tooldial. This software will also be sold independently for $49.95. The navigator is to translate the richness of many commands in Adobe CS2 into easy to use hand and finger movements. Its capabilities include:

A circular touch-sensitive surface (the tooltuner dial) for adjusting option values in supported applications. A  moveable rubber-like ring (the navring controller) at the base allows designers to easily navigate images and documents, while embedded buttons (triggerpoint buttons) call up frequently used tools.

Some of the functions supported are:

Scroll and zoom with ease: A minor nudge of the navring controller moves selected images, while twisting it controls the zoom feature. The navring controller’s built-in sensor is based on advanced robotics technology that senses small movements for quick reaction.

Touch-sensitive control: Located on top of the NuLOOQ navigator, the tooltuner dial gives creative designers the ability to adjust or tune tool-option values, such as text leading or brush size. This feature minimizes arm movement and saves valuable time by eliminating repeat trips to the option bar to adjust values.

Real-time feedback: Feedback appears directly on screen  while tuning values, allowing creative designers to receive  immediate feedback while keeping the desktop clutter-free.

Context-sensitive and application-aware: The NuLOOQ navigator automatically detects the current Adobe CS2 application, selected object or tool, presenting applicable option values for that application when prompted.

Instant access to frequently used tools: Three built-in triggerpoint buttons embedded in the tooltuner dial provide instant access to commands, modifier keys and tooldial menus.

An overview of its use:

With the mouse in one hand and the NuLOOQ navigator in the other, users of Adobe CS2, Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign, can navigate documents and images, as well as adjust values with the slightest movement of a fingertip. Zoom and scroll navigation is very easy. Brush diameter, opacity, and hardness can be adjusted in mid-brush stroke. Font sizes can be adjusted without using the mouse and editing tools can be accessed with the push of a button. The included tooldial software pop up is a configurable circular menu shaped like pie slices. Aware of which application is currently running, NuLOOQ tooldial and NuLOOQ navigator display different options depending on which tool currently is in use. The NuLOOQ tooldial menu reduces mouse movement to a bare minimum to improve productivity.

In spite of the target audience of professionals, Logitech states that this is a significant and rapidly growing user base of hobbyists and consumers using digital cameras which are using Photoshop, for example. The NuLOOQ tooldial and NuLOOQ navigator also target these buyers.

NuLOOQ is a vertical market penetration test by Logitech. Is it possible to create a desktop productivity hardware and software combination that will drive penetration into a segment? The parallel is the Wacom tablet for professionals, and in particular artists.

In the Logitech booth was a professional artist using NuLOOQ. He was showing how both the Wacom tablet and NuLOOQ could be combined to significantly improve productivity with Photoshop. Much of the value of NuLOOQ comes from its ability to be customized to the particular use style of the artist. We pressed if this would be a barrier to adoption but the message was that it only took minutes to set up a NuLOOQ to gain considerable utility to the artist. In the demo we saw and participated in we were impressed with the fluidity of use and set up.

Logitech stated that the concept of user customization as seen on screen, by what the NuLOOQ tooldial provides, is sufficient to merit selling the software as a standalone product. We would agree.

Scrapbooking – Are There Early Signs of a Market Shift?

Scrapbooking is a $2.6B market. In spite of the fact that >85% of the images used for scrapbooking are digital <4% of the scrapbook products are digital. Virtually all of scrapbooking is done by women and over 56% of all digital cameras are bought by women. Cell phone cameras are having a major impact because cell phones are carried everywhere while the digital still camera is not.

Scrapbooking goes well beyond the technology being used. It has complex components which include:

Scrapbooking is a craft and form of artistic expression;

Scrapbooking has embedded social relationships with other scrapbookers and family members;

Scrapbooking is about telling a story, it is about the family or personal relations and sharing; and

Scrapbooking is about preserving the legacy of the family.

The market dynamics which are emerging include:

Scrapbooking output is being used for home décor;

Scrapbooking out is being use for quilting and other personal objects and

Scrapbooking is emerging in areas of pop culture and the family.

But there are many impediments to the market, especially with respect to the role that digital technology can play. Some of these include:

Individuals used to take 5 photos and now take 100 – photo management and selection of content is an important issue;

Digital technology is unreliable – the primary storage media, HDD, crash and only prints are enduring;

Output of images in printed form remains a major challenge – it is not as easy as what existed in film;

There are no scrapbooking digital solutions – very narrow components which are media silos;

Scrapbooking sharing has only limited expression;

Women must be dedicated and spend significant blocks of time to create meaningful scrapbooks and

Preserving memories, family legacy and raising a family are at conflict for most mothers.

At the center of these competing forces are issues which digital technology can only partially address:

Time demands of women raising a family; and

The desire to preserve family memories, legacy and history which takes time to accomplish.

In many families scrapbooking is only accomplished with significant dedication.

There are silo responses to these issues:

HP has elements software which will match an album which has been bought;

HP and Epson are making there printers easier to use for scrapbooking and output in general and

The DSC manufacturers are trying to make output easier to accomplish.

But there remains an expectation that technology can help. If it can a significant potential market lies ahead.

Scrapbooking originated about 20 years ago in Utah. This is related to the emphasis on family by the Mormons and genealogy. Salt Lake City is known as the Mecca of scrapbooking. The market has grown nationwide and accelerated in the last 10 years. A major impetus has been the digital camera. This allows for easy creation of content and also the generation of multiple copies without harming the original.

The social aspect of scrapbooking is part of the culture. Frequently women scrapbook together at crop parties. These can last many hours as techniques, output and memories are shared.

On average $5 per pages is spent but some pages can reach $50 or more.

There are 4,000 scrapbooking retailers in the US and, in comparison, only 2,000 independent photo retailers. has 40,000 online users who can create online scrapbooks. However, most of these books are not printed out.

Support for the Emerging Digital Scrapbooking Market

Lucidiom Announces Luci

Lucidiom is entering the Scrapbooking market with an Automated Photo Machine (APM) market with a machine for the scrapbooking retailer. This computer, display and software allows the consumer in a scrapbooking store to assemble a page based on media brought into the store. Many layout and background features are provided. The software also automatically supports color coordination to assure the end user that only matching colors are used. A typical page would cost $12 but the final cost is up to the retail store.

Epson Enters the Scrapbooking Market

Epson Americas has created Epson Scrapbook Central and stand alone service station that allows scrapbooking retailers to provide a wide range of services. The unit is behind the counter and run by the merchant. Some of the features include:

Borderless 12’ X 12” prints
Art effects
Photo restoration
Archive to CD
Use of various papers
Copying of scrapbook pages
Workflow management
Generate bills and track sales

The unit is not designed to create pages but to support the creation of page content and copying of pages.

The first customer ship is in March and 40 units are in evaluation. The unit includes a PC, scanner and two printers. It integrates many of the Epson technologies into a vertical solution. The price is $9,000 and all items are warranted for 3 years. Epson also provides one day of training for each unit and promotional materials.

Return to Index


0611.2 Business IP Telephony Growth

***InfoTech Study: Small and Medium Business Market for IP Telephony Rises by 36 Percent in 2005; Mitel and Cisco Leading Systems Providers in SMB Segment

March 14, 2006

Small and medium businesses (SMBs) are adopting IP Telephony in droves, according to the most recent report from the InfoTech's InfoTrack for Converged Communications (ICC). The study reveals that demand for IP Telephony solutions have seen a 36 percent increase in station shipments to SMBs between 2004 and 2005, as organizations in this segment look for ways to harness technology to achieve gains in business value.

By contrast, the shipments of traditional products that have served the needs of this segment (specifically: key systems) dropped by 17 percent over the same period.

In 2005, the U.S. revenue from IP Telephony (IPT) systems and applications for SMBs was $1.4 billion, but applications represented only 20% of that total. Over the next five years, this market is projected to grow at an average annual rate of 19 percent, with the total revenue exceeding $3 billion in 2010. At that time, ITP-based applications are expected to account for 46% of the total.

The study also found that market share of IP telephony station shipments in the U.S. SMB market was led by Ottawa, Canada-based Mitel with a 12.6 percent market share in 2005, up from second place in 2004. San Jose, Calif.-based Cisco ranked second in serving the SMB market's IP Telephony systems needs with 11.7 percent market share in 2005. Cisco -- which up until 2005 primarily sold IPT systems to large enterprises -- has successfully shifted its focus to include the SMB market.

Other findings in the study:

-- Almost all of the vendors that have produced key systems in the past are shifting to develop, manufacture and sell IP Telephony systems.

-- During the next five years, Hosted IPT services will account for roughly half of the sites that are implementing IP Telephony among small businesses (SB) with fewer than 100 employees.

-- 75 percent of the SB sites most likely to use Hosted IPT services were very small sites that do not use Centrex or key systems. These sites, which are currently served by two or three business phone lines, represent a large "green field" of IPT opportunity beyond the current installed base of Centrex and key systems.

Return to Index


0611.3 Residential VoIP Statistics

***VoIP Slowly Gaining Ground as Residential Phone Service, with Vonage Expanding Its Share to Nearly Half of the Total Market, According to Telephia

March 14, 2006

VoIP penetration as a home phone service solution is slowly gaining traction within U.S. households, reveals Telephia, a provider of performance measurement information to the converging communications and mobile industries. Overall penetration for VoIP (voice over Internet protocol) increased to 3.5 percent or nearly 3.9 million households in January 2006, up from 2.9 percent in June 2005. Vonage led the VoIP market, which includes all pure-play VoIP companies and providers who actively promote their VoIP service as Internet telephony. Vonage secured a 47.5 percent market share or nearly 1.9 million households in January 2006, up from a 40 percent share in June 2005 (see Table 1).

Table 1: VoIP Provider Market Share by Household Subscribers (U.S.)

                              Jan. '06 Market     Subscribers by
VoIP Provider                    Share (%)        Household (000)
Vonage                                  47.5%              1,861
Skype                                   11.8%                463
AT&T Call Vantage                        5.6%                218
Verizon Voice Wing                       5.0%                196
Google                                   2.5%                 97
8x8 (Packet 8)                           1.7%                 67
Other VoIP Providers (excluding
 cable companies)                       25.9%              1,013
Source: Telephia EPCO Survey, January 2006

     -- Note: Data in table includes VoIP providers who actively
        promote their service as Internet telephony. It excludes
        cable companies who offer "digital phone" services since
        they are not promoted as VoIP.

According to the Telephia Emerging Personal Communications Options (EPCO) survey, Skype posted an 11.8 percent market share, translating to more than 463,000 households who subscribed to the service in the U.S. during January 2006. AT&T Call Vantage claimed a share of 5.6 percent, representing 218,000 households, while Verizon Voice Wing followed closely with a five percent share, accounting for nearly 196,000 households.

VoIP Voice Quality and Service Reliability Score High with Early Adopter Households

Telephia data shows that 67 percent of VoIP early adopter households felt that the voice quality they experienced with the service was equal to traditional landline service, while 19 percent noted that the voice quality was better than wired phone lines (see Table 1). According to Telephia's EPCO survey from June 2005, ninety-one percent of Vonage early adopter households said that the company had equal or better voice quality, while 99 percent of Skype early adopter households felt that Skype scored equal or better than landline phones.

In terms of overall service reliability, 71 percent of VoIP early adopter households reported Internet telephony as having equal reliability to conventional wired phone lines. Sixteen percent considered VoIP to have better service reliability. Vonage also scored high on service reliability, with 91 percent of its early adopter households noting the company's reliability was equal or better than landlines. Nearly three out of four of Skype's early adopter households (74%) thought that Skype had equal or better service reliability.

Table 1: Early Adopter VoIP Experience for Voice Quality and
Service Reliability (U.S.)

                        Worse Than      Equal to     Better Than
                        Wired Phone    Wired Phone   Wired Phone

Voice Quality Total              14%            67%           19%
Vonage Voice Quality              9%            70%           21%
Skype Voice Quality               1%            64%           35%
Service Reliability Total        13%            71%           16%
Vonage Service Reliability        9%            71%           20%
Skype Service Reliability        26%            68%            6%
Source: Telephia EPCO Survey, June 2005

The Telephia Emerging Personal Communications Options (EPCO) Survey aims to understand the attitudes of households towards emerging communications services, providing integrated insights into household use and preferences across converged landline and wireless phone, VoIP, Internet and TV services.

Return to Index


0611.4 Improving Server Processors

***Intel Boosts Energy-Efficient Performance With First Dual-Core Low-Voltage Intel Xeon Processor

March 14, 2006

Intel Corporation is outfitting server, storage and telecommunications equipment makers with a new ingredient for squeezing more performance out of space- and power-constrained environments. It is the first low-voltage Intel Xeon processor to combine dual-core technology with Intel's innovative power management capabilities, helping to boost energy-efficient price/performance with up to two to four times the performance-per-watt of previous Intel Xeon processors and platforms.

The historical need for raw computing performance has evolved into a drive for energy-efficient performance to meet people's expanding demands -- whether for smaller devices, lower cooling bills or better price/performance per watt. Energy-efficient performance enables equipment manufacturers to optimally balance processing capabilities with power and space constraints to help meet those demands. Intel is driving innovations in multi-core computing architectures through a combination of silicon, architecture, platform and software innovations to enable new levels of performance, capabilities and energy efficiency.

With total dissipated power (TDP) of 31 watts, the new low-voltage Dual-Core Intel Xeon processor is ideal for deployments requiring high compute density and power optimization, including single-height (1U) chassis and blade servers, SAN and NAS solutions, and network infrastructure equipment. The new processor excels at handling demanding multi-threaded, multi-tasking applications such as high-performance computing and financial services.

To accelerate time to market for telecommunications equipment makers and original equipment manufacturers, Intel also plans to introduce the AdvancedTCA-compliant Intel NetStructure MPCBL0040 Single Board Computer (SBC). This new, high-density-compute SBC features two of the new low-voltage Intel Xeon processors, which equates to four high-performance cores per SBC.

With the performance boost of the new dual-core processor, the MPCBL0040 is expected to service far more transactions and subscribers per system than previous generation products, which can help significantly reduce the cost per subscriber and/or transaction and total cost of ownership. This powerful processing capability, offered in the AdvancedTCA standard, is ideal for applications where transaction and subscriber load can increase dramatically in a very short time, such as IP Multimedia Services (IMS), Internet Protocol Television (IPTV), and Wireless Control Plane applications.

Intel is also planning to offer a blade server solution powered by up to two of the new Dual-Core Intel Xeon processors LV for ultra-dense, low-power environments where density is limited by power and cooling capabilities. The Intel Server Compute Blade SBXD62 will enable server OEMs and resellers to offer their small- and medium-sized business customers a blade server platform to help reduce operational costs and extend IT resources through improved price/performance/watt, operational efficiencies, deployment flexibility and simplified management.

The Dual-Core Intel Xeon processor LV 2.0 GHz and 1.66 GHz are available from Intel now for $423 and $209 per unit, respectively, in 1,000-unit quantities. The Intel NetStructure MPCBL0040 Single Board Computer is expected to be available in the second quarter with an initial price from Intel of $4,495 per unit. The Intel Server Compute Blade SBXD62 is expected to ship in April with an initial price from Intel of $945 per unit (price does not include processor, heat sink, memory or hard drive).(4) For more information about low-voltage Dual-Core Intel Xeon processors and platforms, please visit

Return to Index


0611.5 Consumer Electronics

***Consumer Electronics Industry Shows Robust Growth in Employment and Productivity; New Industry Data Illustrates Consumer Electronics Industry's Economic Prowess

March 14, 2006

The consumer electronics (CE) industry continues to drive the U.S. economy with robust growth throughout the entire employment spectrum, as well as record-breaking productivity according to a new report issued today by the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA).

As of December 2005, the CE industry employed approximately 1.9 million people or 1.4 percent of the U.S.'s non-farm workforce. Encompassing employment across the entire value chain, this can be distributed into the categories of retail (574,000), manufacturing (212,000), transportation (38,000), and use (1,073,000). In 2005, the industry added 30,000 jobs to realize a 1.5 percent industry employment increase. Since 1990, industry employment has increased a total of more than 19 percent.

Phenomenal productivity statistics further highlight the success of the U.S. CE-related industry. While general retail productivity increased 52 percent in the ten years from 1994 to 2004, CE-related retail productivity increased an extraordinary 309 percent. Over the same ten year period, CE-related manufacturing jumped more than 126 percent, while general U.S. manufacturing productivity increased 49 percent.

Additionally, while U.S. real wage growth has stagnated since 2000, CE-related manufacturing has witnessed the expansion of real wages by nearly 19 percent. In the last five years, CE retailers alone have witnessed an expansion of nearly 4 percent. Moreover, the CE industry's wages are highly competitive when compared to aggregate average manufacturing and retail wages. CEA's report illustrated that CE manufacturers and retailers pay their employees 15 and 18 percent more than the aggregate average respectively.

As of December 2005, production worker employment in CE-related manufacturing was growing at better than 11 percent year-on-year, which represents the highest year-over-year growth in more than 15 years. What's more, since the end of 2004, CE-related manufacturing has expanded production worker headcount in the U.S. while non-production worker headcount has declined year-over-year. With 30 to 40 percent of the consumer electronics market, the U.S. is a natural choice for firms who want to maximize the efficiency of their supply chains. Thus, production work in U.S. CE-related manufacturing is thriving.

Return to Index


0611.6 Important Off-Topic: Tax Advice

***Tax Paperwork: Important Documents or an Identity Thief's Dream?; What to Keep and What to Shred This Tax Season

March 9, 2006

If you're like most people, you spend more time organizing the closet than your financial records. After all, knowing when to get rid of clothes is a lot easier than knowing the rules for how long to keep tax returns, or better yet, whether or not you should be keeping receipts and credit card statements.

Unfortunately, as identity theft crimes continue to grow, we're living in a time where one person's trash is another person's treasure. As Americans sort through mountains of paperwork this tax season, it's important to not only understand IRS rules, but also protect personal information from would-be identity thieves. Last year, consumers lost nearly $57 billion to criminals who stole their identities - a scary thought as we discard old documents and fill up our garbage cans prior to April 15th.

Although it may seem easiest to keep financial records indefinitely, an overflowing desk drawer or filing cabinet makes it nearly impossible to access documents when they're needed. It also increases the likelihood of accidentally misplacing sensitive documents that can lead to identity theft.

To conquer the stacks of paper that inevitably accumulate in every household, it's important to understand what you need to keep and what you can safely shred:

-- Tax returns: The IRS has three years to challenge information in your return and six years to conduct an audit based on unreported income. Keep tax returns and supporting records, like W-2s and 1099s for at least seven years.

-- Investment statements for taxable accounts: Most brokerage firms and mutual fund companies send annual statements summarizing the year's transactions. Once you have these, you should shred your monthly and/or quarterly statements.

-- Bank statements: Keep statements that back up information on your tax returns for up to seven years. Other bank statements can be shredded after reviewing for errors.

-- Credit card statements: Keep statements for big purchases, like jewelry or large appliances. You might need them for warranties. If you put charitable contributions on your credit card, keep the statement for your tax records. Other monthly statements can be shredded once you've reviewed them for errors or unauthorized purchases.

-- Pay stubs: While many people say to save these, it's a huge mistake. They contain everything an identity thief needs to open an account. Keep three months of history only if you are applying for a mortgage.

-- ATM receipts: Shred all receipts after you balance your bank statement.

-- Canceled checks. With no significance for tax or other purposes, these should be destroyed after one year.

-- Retirement plan contributions: Keep records of contributions to non-deductible individual retirement accounts, such as a Roth IRA, indefinitely. Without them, you may find yourself paying taxes again when the money is withdrawn. Some financial institutions keep records of IRA contributions, but it's best not to count on it.

-- Insurance policies, wills and other legal documents: These documents should be kept indefinitely.

For documents you need to keep, consider storing them in a safe and accessible place, such as a fireproof box in your home. When destroying records, it's best to use a shredder that can slice credit cards and has cross-cut (also known as confetti-cut) capabilities. Identity thieves can't steal what they can't read, and cross-cut shredders ensure that private information is destroyed into small, unidentifiable pieces.

Additionally, a few more protective measures against identity theft should be taken during tax season. Take tax forms directly to the post office; do not leave them in a private mailbox where they're accessible to a potential neighborhood thief. Also, be sure to shred any paperwork needed to calculate taxes such as receipts, bank records and various forms. If you choose not to do your own taxes, be very selective of who you hire. Conduct research on tax companies and ask questions, including how information will be stored, shared and disposed or destroyed.

Return to Index


Copyright 2010 The WAVE Report

To subscribe to the WAVE Report go to

To unsubscribe also use the Wave Report Home page or send the preformatted UNSUBSCRIBE message:

List Management - Unsubscribe

Previous issues of WAVE, as well as other info can be found at

Comments on or questions about the WAVE may be sent to:

John N. Latta - Editor-In-Chief

The WAVE Report may be redistributed in full for individual readership and posted to newsgroups, Web, and FTP sites. This publication may not be reprinted or redistributed for profit. Short quotes are permitted but must be attributed to the WAVE Report.