NPD has released its latest data on consumer electronics sales in the US — and it's not a pretty picture, unless you're selling smartphones and tablets. Out of the top five categories based on 2012 revenue, only smartphones (up 25 percent) and tablets (up 42 percent) grew year-over-year. Even in the case of tablets, that growth is far less explosive than it was in 2011, when sales increased a whopping 135 percent over 2010. Of course, 2011 is the year that the iPad 2 really pushed tablets into the mainstream, so it's not entirely surprising to see the category fall back to earth a bit. Laptops, flat-panel TVs, and desktops, (which rounded out the top five) all saw revenue declines compared to 2011 — desktops were down 11 percent, laptops were down 9 percent, and TVs were down 7 percent.
At least in the US, it looks like consumers are saving their disposable income for tablets and smartphones — a trend that benefits manufactures like Apple and Samsung. Unsurprisingly, those two companies had the biggest share of sales by brand — Apple captured 19.9 percent while Samsung followed with 9.3 percent. Both companies saw slight bumps over 2011; Samsung's increase helped it take second place from HP for 2012. Despite big years for Apple and Samsung, the overall CE category's revenue dropped a slight two percent compared to 2011. It looks like those who aren't competing in the smartphone and tablet markets in the US could risk getting left behind over the coming year, if this trend continues to hold.