NY Times: No single device since the bicycle has altered kids’ Christmas wish lists more than Apple’s iPad

“How do the tech toys measure up? This is not a typical “best of the year” list; rather, it is an attempt to make you — a busy parent or grandparent — smarter than a fifth grader, in 1,200 words or less, while pointing out a few noteworthy examples,” Warren Buckleitner reports for The New York Times. “No single device since the invention of the bicycle has altered a child’s wish list more than the iPad. If you don’t believe me, go to the mall and ask Santa, or note the number of mainstream companies making app-related toys.”

Disney AppMates are matchbox-size cars from the “Cars” movies that you slide around on the slippery iPad screen, which delivers a set of self-scrolling roads with ramps. When the novelty fades and you run out of roads, you can buy another car for $10 to unlock a new “Cars” personality and another section of the map,” Buckleitner reports. “You can significantly improve an iPad’s chance of survival when it is slammed in a minivan door if it is encased in foam with Big Grips. The lightweight and easy grip makes the iPad 2 easier to hold like a steering wheel.

“For iPhones or the iPod Touch, HappiTaps turns the screen into an oblong-headed bear that you can clip to a stroller, to provide conversation or deliver a lullaby (there are different modes),” Buckleitner reports. “The Appfinity AppBlaster is evidence that game controllers can come in many forms, including a bright orange, two-triggered assault rifle. You snap your iOS device into a holder on the gun barrel, download the app and start blasting at creatures that are floating around the room, as seen through the camera on your device.”

Buckleitner reports, “If spending $500 for an iPad 2 is out of reach, there are other ways to give a child access to the ocean of apps in iTunes. An older, deactivated iPhone, which works essentially as an iPod Touch, is one route, or a new iPod Touch 4G is going for $190 or so at Wal-Mart (for the eight-gigabyte version).”

Prices, links, and many more (non-Apple) tech-related gift ideas are highlighted in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Whit D.” for the heads up.]

Related article:
Disney intros Appmates Mobile Application Toys, lets kids use Apple iPad as virtual play mat (with video) – September 27, 2011


    1. I don’t mean to upset anyone, but…

      If all those children wanted iPads so badly Sterne Agee’s analyst Shaw Wu would not be saying something like iPad sales were a little light. That doesn’t sound as though the iPad is in that much of a demand and that the Kindle Fire is the tablet that consumers are actually taking home to little Jimmy and Jane to put under the Christmas tree.

      When the analyst says iPad sales are light he probably means, “Look out, Apple shareholders because you’re in for another disappointing quarter.” It’s understandable, though. Apple just let Amazon come in and steal the iPad’s market share right from under their noses. If Apple had a 7″ tablet priced at around $299, I’ll bet Amazon wouldn’t have sold half of what it did. Thanks for nothing, Apple. You give Jeff Bezos an inch and he’ll take a mile. He’s going to do the same thing next year with the Amazon Aphone to undercut the iPhone by about $300.

      That’s the main reason why the hedge fund managers don’t have any faith in Apple. Too many cockroaches scurrying around eating up all of Apple’s table droppings. Apple needs to lock down the entire tablet market space, high and low. That’s the only way you can destroy the enemy.

      1. Anyone who buys a Kindle Fire and expects iPad performance is in for supreme disappointment. There will be some VERY unhappy children this Xmas if they get that instead of an iPad. For half the price you get 45% of the screen size, and at best 1/4 of the functionality, and they have to sell them at a loss to even achieve that!

      2. you know TWI, your stuff is sooo off the wall wrong, that I am always unsure if you are just an clueless apple hating troll or… are you are an ironic sarcasm troll (a-la zune tang)

        Well… whichever, you at least have me thinking (about whether your material is clever comedy or just the rantings of a loon… )

  1. Dear Santa,
    I would like an MP3 player for Christmas. My Dad says it needs to be a sh*t brown Zune. Could you please talk to him? He doesn’t even work there anymore.
    Thanks, Billie Gates Jr.

    1. Actually, that would be Billy Gates IV.

      His father is already William Gates III.

      Also, “Billie” is a female nick nickname (e.g. Billie Jean King), “Billy” is the male nickname. (e.g. Billy Bob Thornton).

  2. Its amazing the way the iPad is taking off and all the things it is being used for that I’m sure were never even imagined when it was designed.

    Steve would be proud.

    1. Maybe “all the things” weren’t imagined during the imagineering of iPad, but it certainly wasn’t designed casually for a toilet reader (Jobs had rejected/flung out previous iterations of tablet device, demanding something that’s not a toilet reader in his view) and neither is it an accidental hit.

      Jobs and his team had been at for a better part of a decade (before iPhone even), a lot of careful consideration was poured into it to make it so “obvious” and seamless. Jobs often feigned his “surprises” at the keynotes (iPad is taking over the games industry tickled him), but make no mistake he captained a group of shrewd strategists.

      I remember, in the middle of last decade some prominent physicians had visited Jobs to request for something like a tablet device for the medical industry. At the time, Jobs had dismissed them as something beyond his means. He talked about it somewhere too. Lo and behold, iPad was already at work, and is now a super popular device at the hospitals with little help and push from Apple.

  3. Bicycles offered a kid mobility. I got a used bike about age 6 and had to rebuild it and paint it myself (one speed).

    In a distinctly similar way, iPads offer a kid mobility in the world of ideas and information. Interestingly, iPads are similar in price to competent bicycles today.

    I can imagine what I would have thought as a kid getting my hands on a device that gave me access to books, games, libraries and course materials all over the U.S. Getting to a major library from my small town of 5000 people was an hour trip with my parents, which didn’t happen often.

    What excites me about the iPad, beyond adult uses, is the fact that kids can start learning & exploring at their own pace…math, music, drawing, reading, mechanics, science…ALMOST ANYTHING.

    School can be boring for a student if he can’t proceed at his own pace and “move on” and explore more sources and information. iPads also offer students with far different skills and limitations to still interact with the iPad. Some autistic students are able to communicate using the iPad for the first time.

    1. Wow… I hate to appear elitist (but will risk it). In a time where eating out at an almost-fast-food restaurant like Olive Garden or TGI fridays can easily run a family of 4 $50-$100 and tickets to major league sporting events easily run hundreds of dollars I don’t see how spending $500 on an Christmas gift for you child (that is educational no less) can be considered excessive.

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