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U.S. Kids Looking Forward to iHoliday 2011
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U.S. Kids Looking Forward to iHoliday 2011

As Black Friday and the holiday season approaches, Apple appears to be the consumer electronics brand to beat. A recent Nielsen survey shows kids’ holiday gaming and electronics appetites are whet by a number of top-selling Apple devices – with the iPad leading the pack.

Consistent with U.S. kids’ 2010 wish lists, the Apple iPad is the most desired consumer electronic among kids ages 6-12 for holiday 2011. In fact, the iPad increases its stronghold, with nearly half (44%) of kids expressing interest in the product, up from 31 percent in 2010. Two other popular Apple devices – iPod Touch (30%) and iPhone (27%) – round out kids’ top three, with computers and other tablet brands each appealing to a quarter of younger consumers.

Many kids will also ask for gaming devices this year, with two products that offer unique gaming technologies – Nintendo 3DS (25%) and Kinect for Xbox 360 (23%) – leading the way. Given the 3DS’ spring 2011 release date and the surge in Kinect interest versus last year (up from 14%), parents can expect both devices to be frequently requested this holiday season. Beyond these, older Nintendo DS models continue to resonate with young gamers (22%), while the PlayStation 3 (17%) and Xbox 360 (16%) edge out the Nintendo Wii (11%) as the most desired gaming consoles.

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Among consumers ages 13 and older, appeal for the iPad (24%) has also broadened relative to last year (18%), and exceeds that of computers (18%), 2010’s top item. Further, it appears the iPad has successfully paved the way for other tablet offerings, as a notable 17 percent of adults/teens also express interest in non-Apple tablets.

E-Readers (18%) also exhibit heightened appeal among teens and adults compared to last year (15%), while gaming devices on the whole are somewhat less likely to be of interest to the 13+ crowd. The exception is Kinect for Xbox 360, which appeals to 12 percent of those ages 13+, compared to eight percent in 2010; though, notably, last year’s data was collected prior to the product’s well-supported, large-scale launch on November 4, 2010.

With so many products to choose from across both existing and emerging technologies, electronics are well-positioned to find their way onto shoppers’ lists again this season – and parents will clearly have some tough decisions to make as they weigh kids’ wants against their holiday budgets.

More insights on gamers, console dynamics, and allocations of time and money within gaming and the broader entertainment category will be featured in the third annual Nielsen 360° Gaming Report: U.S. Market, available in January. Additionally, an overview of key findings from the 2010 version of the report can now be downloaded here.

Survey conducted among a general population sample of n=3,000 in the United States, October 2011.

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