Minneapolis -- For Best Buy, providing predictions of holiday best sellers has become as traditional as a post-Thanksgiving sale. This year is no different as the retailer offers the following top picks for the fourth quarter:
DTV: Best Buy will offer more than 15 models from six manufacturers, ranging from Samsung's 27-inch digital-ready model to Sony's 65-inch HDTV. Retails will stretch from $1,000 to $12,000. "We're selling the daylights out of it," said VP of marketing services Jeff Maynard.
GPS: For the holidays, handheld devices will start at $119 at the chain. "Price points are plummeting, and we're now selling them to middle-of-the-road consumers," Maynard noted.
Mini digital camcorders: A leader in the palm-size parade will be JVC's $1,500 unit with removable flash memory and built-in MP3 player, the retailer predicts.
Mobile video: Price points are moving south, with universal units starting at $400 at Best Buy, while $1,000 will get you a custom SUV or minivan set.
PDAs: Best Buy says the category will be hot this winter, buoyed by introductions from Handspring, Microsoft, Palm and Sony -- and by retails ranging from $100 to $600. "The price points are coming down, while the assortment and the capacity of what they can do has grown dramatically," Maynard said.
Speed cooking microwaves: "There's a clear seasonal bump for microwaves, and a clear group that thinks giving an appliance is an appropriate Christmas gift," he said. In particular, Best Buy is stocking up on the Panasonic Inverter, whose models range between $100 and $200 retail.
Web phones: "For certain there will be a broader assortment by December," Maynard predicted, although the retailer already has high hopes for Ericsson's new R280LX ($99) combined with AT&T's digital Pocketnet service (starting at $6.99 a month). -- Alan Wolf