April 1963 Electronics World
People old and young
enjoy waxing nostalgic about and learning some of the history of early electronics. Electronics World
was published from May 1959 through December 1971. See all
Electronics World articles.
$15.1 billion is a lot of money both today and in 1963, when
this story was written. That was the value of the electronics
market at the time. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics'
Inflation Calculator, $15.1B in 1963 is the equivalent of $116B
in 2014. The
Consumer Electronics Association projects a 2015 electronics
gadget market value of $223B, which does not include military,
medical, and industrial electronics. The
World Semiconductor Trade Statistics group predicts a $333B
semi market value for 2014.
Apple alone just hit the $700B market cap benchmark - that's
just one electronics company. By any measure, electronics has
enjoyed a continual, significant gain since the early 20th century.
$15.1-Billion Electronics Market in 1963 - For the Record
By W. A. Stocklin, Editor
year has passed, and once again, the electronics industry has
achieved an unbroken record of yearly sales increases since
1949. The Electronic Industries Association accumulated sales
volume in 1962 showed an increase of 2.8 percent over the previous
year. There seems little doubt, particularly after President
Kennedy's recent State of the Union Message in Congress, that
1963 will show a further increased dollar sales volume. EIA's
predictions are that the electronics industry will reach $15.1-billion
in 1963, which will make it the fourth largest in our country.
It is interesting to note that the government's military
expenditures for electronic equipment in the coming year are
expected to reach an all-time high of $9-billion, which is almost
60 percent of the total U.S. electronics output. (See Table
Unit sales of transistors will, according to L. Berkeley
Davis of General Electric, increase to between 280 million and
310 million transistors. However, as Mr. Davis pointed out,
if current price trends continue and the product market continues
to change as it has over the last months, industry's dollar
volume from sales of transistors will do well to equal the $289-million
figure of 1962.
Sales of integrated semiconductor circuits can be expected
to increase dramatically in 1963. Although last year's sales
were below $5-million, the current interest displayed by users
indicates that a market between $10-million and $20-million
is expected to be realized by the manufacturers of these devices
The coming year should also see a continued healthy growth
in the markets for semiconductor rectifier devices. It is expected
that there will be a $20-million increase over the 1962 volume
Although written off many times by a number of industry forecasters
because of foreign competition and displacement by semiconductor
devices, the domestic receiving tube industry continues to be
a major segment of the electronic components industry.
Depending on the strength of the general economy, 1963 factory
sales may be as high as $230-million to $270-million. This compares
with a $295-million sales volume in 1962. According to General
Electric, 9.7 million TV picture tubes will be sold domestically.
The total market should be about $221-million.
According to Ross D. Siragusa of Admiral Corporation, 1963
television sales should be in the neighborhood of 6 million
black-and-white and 700,000 color sets. Admiral alone expects
to produce 100,000 color sets in 1963.
Although the industrial electronics market is not as impressive
today as the government and military aspects of our industry,
it is still viewed as an area that will offer the greatest potential
for expansion during the coming years. As pointed out by Charles
F. Horne, President of EIA, the profit ratios seem to be much
brighter in this area when compared to the other segments of
our industry. It seems quite obvious that our accelerated government
and military expenditures will certainly bring mounting pressures
for profit controls and restrictions upon the decision-making
powers of company managements.
While signs point to a prosperous 1963 and a progressive
future, one serious problem still exists within the industry.
There is a greater need for qualified electronics engineers
and technicians than existed a year ago. A downtrend in the
supply of trained technical personnel has continued now for
quite a few years and there are no signs that this will change.
Unfortunately, there are less engineering students graduating
from our colleges today than in the past. It has been estimated
that by 1970 there will be a shortage of 2 million electronically
oriented technicians, not to mention the shortage of engineering
Posted February 13, 2015