CEA: Spending on electronics gifts to reach an all-time high this holiday; Apple iPad high on list

This holiday season, spending on consumer electronics gifts will reach historic highs, despite an overall decline in gift spending, according to new research released today by the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA). CEA unveiled the 17th Annual CE Holiday Purchase Patterns Study today at CEA’s Industry Forum in San Francisco, a four-day conference designed to inform and connect leaders in the consumer electronics (CE) industry.

Consumer electronics will once again be the hottest gifts, both to give and to receive, this holiday season. Overall, consumers will spend $750 on holiday gifts, down two percent from last year. They will, however, spend more on CE gifts than ever before. Consumers will spend $232 on CE gifts, up five percent from last year and the highest level since CEA began tracking holiday spending. Nearly a third of consumers’ total gift budgets will be allocated to CE. When it comes to spending, nearly half will buy a CE gift for children on their list, two in five will buy a CE gift for their spouse/significant other and 29 percent will buy CE for themselves.

“Giving electronics as a holiday gift, either to a loved one or to yourself, is more popular than ever,” said Steve Koenig, CEA’s director of industry analysis, in the press release. “Not only are three in four adults planning to give CE as a gift this year, but more consumers want electronics as a gift for themselves, demonstrating that electronics will be the must-have gifts of the season.”

Three of the top five, and four of the top ten, items on adults overall holiday gift wish list are electronics. Notebook/laptop computers and Apple’s iPad ranked second and third on the list respectively, trailing only peace and happiness. eReaders and video game systems ranked fifth and ninth respectively. Among adults’ holiday CE wish lists, notebooks, the iPad and eReaders topped the list.

Holiday Gift Wish List- Adults
1. Peace/Happiness
2. Notebook/Laptop
3. Apple iPad
4. Clothes
5. eReader
6. Car/Motorcycle
7. Family Together
8. Good Health
9. Video Game System
10. Money

Holiday CE Gift Wish List- Adults
1. Notebook/Laptop
2. iPad
3. eReader
4. iPod/iPod Touch
5. Video Game System
6. Digital Camera
7. Big Screen TV
8. TV (unspecified)
9. Computer (unspecified)
10. Desktop PC

“Many innovative products new to the market are high on the gift list this year,” said Koenig. “Consumers want the newest technologies, and stores that stock these products on their shelves will fare well this holiday season.”

Overall, consumers will each spend an average of $1,412 this holiday on everything from gifts and decorations to travel and food. That’s up three percent from last year, but still below recent historical levels as consumers remain guarded. Nearly seven out of ten consumers say they are adjusting holiday spending due to economic concerns, with a third reducing expenditures for reasons related to unemployment.

“While the recession officially ended a year and half ago, consumers remain very cautious this holiday,” said Shawn DuBravac, CEA’s chief economist and director of research. “Worries remain over the economy and employment picture, but there is optimism. Consumers will spend more this holiday than last, with one in five planning to increase their holiday budget compared to last year.”

The 17th Annual CE Holiday Purchase Pattern Study (October 2010) was conducted in September 2010. It was designed and formulated by CEA Market Research, the most comprehensive source of sales data, forecasts, consumer research and historical trends for the consumer electronics industry.

Source: The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA)


  1. Ho Ho Ho

    Apple will be the # 1 consumer choice for gifts of all kinds this Xmas.

    From the Shuffle and the iPod Nano which is a very affordable killer gift, to the iPad to the beautiful Macs.

    One only needs to stop into any Apple store and see the products in person, to realize that there isn’t an Apple product in this year’s lineup that isn’t a hit -Not One!

  2. Every kid wants an iPod touch and every adult wants an iPad.

    And how’s the poor Galaxy Tab supposed to have some quality alone time with consumers with the iPad prancing about on every rooftop and playing in the snow in every retailers front yard, including Verizon, Android’s biggest beneficiary?

  3. LOL at the “Peace/Happiness” wish. One of the best ways to achieve peace and happiness is not by cramming into a crowded mall/store to buy some stupid gift believing somehow that this honors Jesus.

    Funny though how that made it to #1

  4. Max Power:

    The holiday season is a festive time whether or not it’s for Jesus, Hanuka, Kwanza or morons. Hahaha hohoho hoop along moron – whatever turns you on is your hang-up.

  5. @breeze

    A little sensitive are we? Festive time ehh? I take it you’ve never watched two people almost kill each other in a shopping mall parking lot – what am I saying? You’re probably the type of hypocrite that does exactly that “for a festive time” hahahaha hohoho!

  6. Max power – little penis. I give a fuck about your social insecurities or religion – this stretch of the year is the what the entire retail business and economy is built on moron.

    Apple will rule this holiday season’s retail business.

  7. I dunno how accurate this prediction is given the still crappy economy for us non-zillionaires.

    But, I’m getting myself a new Micro Four Thirds camera and a few lenses!

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