“With tablets and other mobile devices the gadgets of choice this holiday season, Reuters canvassed over 70 shoppers and store employees across Sydney, Seattle, Palo Alto, Shanghai, Bangalore, Singapore, Paris, London, Mexico City and Boston for insight into what does and doesn’t beckon,” Leila Abboud and Alistair Barr report for Reuters. “Apple stores and electronics retailers were bustling last week, in contrast to the Microsoft pop-up stores in the United States promoting Windows 8 and Surface tablets, which were far less crowded.”

“Just three years after their inception, tablet computers are the indispensable item. In a U.S. Ipsos poll conducted for Thomson Reuters from December 8 to December 11, one in three of 1,330 people surveyed were thinking of buying one of the slim gadgets,” Abboud and Barr report. “Of those predisposed, 42 percent were leaning toward an iPad or iPad Mini, 16 percent were considering the Kindle Fire, and 14 percent a Samsung Galaxy. A mere 4 percent of respondents were drawn to Microsoft’s Surface.”

Abboud and Barr report, “An employee at one shop [in Mexico City] said he’s selling about 15 iPads a week. ‘The iPad mini is selling out as soon as we receive the shipments. Last week we got 42 and this week 32, and they sold almost immediately. A lot of people buy them as gifts,’ he said… In India, where mobile phone sales grew at a 47 percent clip in the third quarter, according to Gartner research, iPhones are still the gold standard, and many models were sold out… ‘You have to pay the Apple premium, but when you consider the ease-of-use and the whole Apple ecosystem, it’s well worth the money,’ said 29-year-old Karthik Venkataraman.”

Abboud and Barr report, “In Singapore, the Samsung kiosk at a StarHub store was crowded, with customers testing out the South Korean manufacturer’s Note 2 phone-tablets. ‘I didn’t want to get stuck in the Apple ecosystem,’ said one customer who recently bought an Android phone made by LG.”

MacDailyNews Take: “I didn’t want to get stuck in the Ritz-Carlton, so I checked into the Super 8 instead.”

Abboud and Barr report, “At a mall in Boston, one person wandered into a Microsoft store for every nine who visited a nearby Apple store on a weekday last week. In Palo Alto, 40-year-old Javier Sanchez returned his Surface. ‘With the iPad, it’s one step, and with this (Surface), it’s two or three steps to do the same thing,’ said Sanchez, who also uses a Mac and an iPhone. ‘You open (the iPad) and it’s ready for you.'”

MacDailyNews Take: Why would someone “who also uses a Mac and an iPhone,” even consider buying a Surface, much less actually hand over their money (temporarily)? The “thought” processes of some people are completely baffling to us.

Abboud and Barr report, “Things looked not much brighter on Microsoft’s home turf, in the greater Seattle area. A sales assistant at a Best Buy said he had been quizzed about sales of the Windows 8 device… Another assistant, asked if the same store had 32GB or 64GB Surface tablets in stock, said, laughing: ‘We got plenty of both!'”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: If the S.S. Microsoft isn’t frantically signaling “Mayday! Mayday!” right now, it ought to be. Glub, glub, glub, Redmond hacks.