Total reported sales for all switch categories in North America for Q1 of 2014 were 5% better than the previous quarter and 1% better than observed in the first quarter of 2013. Sales units for Q1 2014 came in 4% above units sold in Q4 2013 and 14% better than Q1 of 2013.

The total booking dollars reported for all switch categories in North America for Q1 2014 ran 6% less than the previous quarter and below Q1 2013 by 6%. The first quarter’s book-to-bill ratio for dollars was 0.942. Booking units in Q1 2014 were down 7% from Q4. The first quarter’s book-to-bill ratio for units was 0.929.

The first quarter versus the fourth showed total sales dollars up 5% and units 4% higher. This was driven increases in slide and snap action switches. Four of eight switch categories realized better unit sales with a 4% total increase. Prices were up just under 1% in total with half the categories improving. The comparison to the first quarter of 2013 yielded similar results dollars up in three of eight categories and 1% in total. Units were up for five categories and better in total by 14%. Pricing from a year ago was down in four of eight categories and in total by 11%.

Sales Growth by Switch Category

  Q1 2014 Versus Q4 2013 Q1 2014 Versus Q1 2013
Category Dollars Units ASP Dollars Units ASP
DIP -10.4% -11.5% 1.2% -12.5% -12.8% 0.3%
Keylock -4.3% -18.5% 17.4 % -9.1% -15.1% 7.0%
Push Button -5.8% -6.9% 1.2% -20.7% -31.8% 16.2%
Rocker -4.3% 5.3% -9.1% 11.3% 15.5% -3.6%
Slide 10.8% 12.2% -1.2% 2.5% 6.9% -4.1%
Snap Action 23.0% -4.7% 29.1% 19.2% 16.9% 2.0%
Tact -8.5% 10.3% -17.1% -15.1% 22.7% -30.8%
Toggle -7.6% 4.5% -11.6% -20.7% 0.7% -21.2%


5.2% 4.5% 0.6% 1.0% 13.8% -11.3%


When compared to last quarter total booking dollars decreased 6% and units fell 7%. Dollars were down in over half of the categories and units fell in four of eight categories. Booked prices were up for half of categories and up 2% in total. Booked dollars in Q1 against the same quarter of 2013 were down for all but slide switches and in total by 6%. Units were down for most categories and but up 7% in total driven by slide and tact switches. Prices showed six of the eight categories decreasing and the total moved 12% lower.

Bookings Growth by Switch Catgory


  Q1 2014 Versus Q4 2013 Q1 2014 Versus Q1 2013
Category Dollars Units ABP Dollars Units ABP
DIP -11.9% 1.9% -13.6% -7.7% -6.8% -0.9%
Keylock -38.7% -44.3% 9.9 % -43.6% -57.6% 33.1%
Push Button 6.7% 7.5% -0.8% -7.3% -4.6% -2.8%
Rocker -9.2% -10.3% 1.2% -0.8% -0.2% -0.7%
Slide 20.8% 38.3% -12.6% 18.4% 57.3% -24.7%
Snap Action -8.6% -26.1% 23.7% -3.4% -4.3% 0.9%
Tact -10.7% -7.1% -3.9% -19.7% 9.9% -27.0%
Toggle 7.6% 2.6% 4.9% -12.0% -7.8% -4.6%


-5.8% -7.5% 1.9% -6.5% 6.6% -12.3%

The graph below shows total quarterly indexed sales and bookings in dollars and units for the reported data since Q1 CY 2012. All measures set two-year highs Q2 and Q3 0f 2013 and had been improving over the previous three quarters. In Q3, sales measures continued to improve as booking measures eased down the next three quarters. Sales measures dropped in Q4 of last year but rebounded in Q1.


Book-to-bill units have generally trended higher since the first quarter of 2012 until Q3 of last year when they started a trend lower. Book-to-bill dollars have generally trended lower over the last two years. The booking to selling price ratio has been trending lower until reversing in Q3 of 2013and is now above 1.0. 


Indexed booking prices peaked in Q1 of 2012 and have trended lower since. Indexed selling prices reached an apex Q3 of 2012 then moved lower the next four quarters but rose in Q4 and Q1. 


Michael Schwert

Michael Schwert

Michael is the founder of Cumulus, Inc. He has more than 30 years of marketing and sales as well as design experience in the electronic and electrical component industry. Prior to founding Cumulus, he was Director of Marketing for Cherry Electrical Products and held other marketing management positions with Panduit, BRK Electronics, and Ideal Industries.

Cumulus provides market information and consulting services for the global electronic components industry. The company offers three publications: Switch Tracks, a quarterly report with market information on component switches; the Relay Report, a quarterly report with market information on component relays; and Market Notes, a monthly report on sales, bookings, and business conditions in the relay and switch market. Cumulus also manages projects that help leading global suppliers in the relay and switch industry to develop new products and reach new markets.

Schwert provides MarketEYE with monthly articles that include timely and accurate market information for the electromechanical component sector of the electronics industry.  View other posts from Michael Schwert.

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