Erie, Pa. - Electronics has become the holiday gift of choice as consumers regard their CE devices as necessities rather than indulgences.
According to a new survey by comparison shopping site PriceGrabber, 70 percent of consumers said they plan to buy "practical" rather than luxury gifts this season, and the majority of those (64 percent) said they will purchase CE for work, school or as replacements for older devices.
The study also forecasts a very merry Christmas for Apple. Forty-seven percent of respondents said they would prefer to receive an iPhone 4 over other smartphones, and 59 percent cited iPad as the superior choice for e-reading.
Motorola's Droid was preferred by 22 percent of smartphone hopefuls, while 13 percent said they would like to find a BlackBerry Torch in their Christmas stocking.
Among the e-reading crowd, Amazon.com's Kindle came in second place, selected by 21 percent of consumers, while Barnes & Noble's Nook trailed at 5 percent and Dell's Streak and Samsung's Galaxy Tab were each cited by 3 percent of respondents.
PriceGrabber expects tablet PCs to be one of the most popular CE gifts this holiday season, based on a 330 percent increase in the number of searches for the keyword "tablet" on the site over last year. While iPad is expected to continue to dominate the category, other top contenders may include Sony VAIO, Toughbook 19 and Asus, based on PriceGrabber visits.
The vast majority of consumers (80 percent) also said they will closely monitor retail pricing for the best deals on their favorite products this holiday season, given the lessons of last year's fierce promotions. "Last year, we saw large-scale price wars between major retailers, which resulted in deeply discounted products," noted PriceGrabber president Laura Conrad. "This year, we expect especially competitive price wars beginning early in the season. Shoppers need to evaluate the benefit of monitoring price wars for the lowest price vs. potentially missing out on the most popular products of the season."
Consumers plan to spend an average of $845 on holiday gifts this year, and a greater number (66 percent) plan to spend in excess of $500 than in 2009 (59 percent). The survey also showed that consumers will make most of their purchases online (57 percent), while 40 percent of purchases will be made in brick-and-mortar stores and 3 percent will be made from a mobile phone.
The PriceGrabber report,
, is based on 1,839 online responses collected between Sept. 14 and Oct. 6.