Consumer survey shows Apple in catbird seat this holiday shopping season

AirPods Pro bring the magic of AirPods to an all-new lightweight, in-ear design.
AirPods Pro bring the magic of AirPods to an all-new lightweight, in-ear design.

Among the half (49%) of the U.S. population that plans to shop during Black Friday Week (Thanksgiving Day through Cyber Monday), 82% of those shoppers plan to buy tech devices and accessories, ranging from wireless earbuds to streaming service subscriptions, according to new data released today by the Consumer Technology Association (CTA).

The 2019 Pre-Black Friday Week Survey also finds that among the U.S. adults who plan to buy tech, the top planned purchases are wireless earbuds/headphones such as Apple’s AirPods and AirPods Pro (57%), mobile device cases (46%), video game discs (42%), portable battery chargers (42%), streaming and download services such as Apple TV+, Apple Arcade, and Apple Music (41%), and smartphones such as Apple’s iPhone(41%).

“Despite a shorter shopping season, there will be a healthy appetite for tech. Wireless earbuds and streaming content will make a very strong showing over the course of Black Friday Week,” said Lesley Rohrbaugh, director of market research, CTA, in a statement. “Content subscriptions and services are quickly becoming a go-to gift, especially as a wide range of streaming video, audio and gaming options come on the market this holiday season.”

More U.S. adults will shop online and via mobile this year

• Tech shoppers will use a combination of shopping channels over Black Friday Week and while most will shop in brick-and-mortar stores, more consumers will shop for tech online, mobile and via voice compared to last year.

• Almost all U.S. adult shoppers plan to shop in-person at brick-and-mortar stores (97%), with most planning to shop at a mass merchant such as Walmart or Target.

• More U.S. adult shoppers plan to shop online (83%) using a desktop or laptop computer, up two percentage points over last year.

• The number of consumers planning to shop using a mobile device (81%), such as a smartphone or tablet, is up five percentage points over 2018.

• The biggest jump will occur with the number of Black Friday Week shoppers who say they plan to shop for tech via voice (48%) – up nine percentage points – using digital assistants such as Siri or Amazon Alexa to research and find holiday deals.

Holiday Season Category Sales Projections

Over the course of the entire holiday shopping season, which spans October through December, CTA projects:

• Overall tech spending will reach $97.1 billion in revenue in the U.S. – on par with last year’s actual spending.

• Wireless earbuds such as Apple’s AirPods are anticipated to sell eight million units – a 45% increase over 2018.

• Smartwatches such as the Apple Watch are projected to sell nine million units this holiday season (up 2%).

• Smart speakers such as Apple’s HomePod will ship 11.3 million units, strong numbers for a relatively new category but a 42% decline over last year as more devices like TVs integrate voice capabilities.

Source: CTA Market Research

MacDailyNews Take: It’s going to be a very green Christmas for Apple!


  1. Buying the wife a new 5K iMac this Christmas (replacing a 2009 one) but the problem I always have are dumbing down the specs and cost for a Mac I know will be good enough for her and family as compared to my own “jack up the specs and price, full speed ahead” needs. It’s hard!

  2. Wall Street will only be concerned with how many iPhones have been sold. Apple is still seen as The iPhone Company and it may never be considered as anything else until some Apple product makes more revenue than the iPhone does. Selling plenty of wearables is quite commendable for Apple but I doubt the big investors will be happy enough with those products to change their iPhone mentality.

    1. It’s a hardware, software and services company and all those things are interdependent and contribute to the bottom line. For investors and Wall Street not to know that is just staggeringly dumb.

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