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Holiday Consumer Electronics Wish Lists

The upcoming holiday season is looking a bit merrier, as the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) sees evidence that the economy is picking up after a disastrous couple of years. In its annual CE Holiday Purchase Patterns Study, the CEA reports that U.S. consumers predict that the total household spending for the holidays will be $1,412, up 3 percent from last year (see last year's post).

This is still not back to the golden days of the 2007 household spending of $1,671, but it's definitely an improvement. In addition, the portion of the total holiday gift budget allocated for CE devices has continued to rise, and now is at 31 percent, or $232.

The CEA also provides top 10 lists of specific product categories that are on consumer holiday wish lists. The most dramatic change in this year's wish list is the appearance of the Apple iPad tablet as a new category, displacing netbooks after their appearance just last year.

The iPad is joined by the iPod and iPhone as the only specifically branded products on the list, showing Apple's continued strength in defining entire categories.

These portable devices lead the lists, with laptops, tablets, eReaders, media players, digital cameras, and smartphones. The clear trend here is the continued consumer interest in using separate devices for specific functions, instead of carrying a single converged smartphone that could replace all our different gadgets and functions.

The lists also include more traditional home electronics products, including video game systems, big screen TVs, and desktop computers. Other categories that have fallen out of the top 10 this year include handheld game systems, GPS units, netbooks, and DVD / Blu-ray players, and car audio. But you're still welcome to buy them anyway...

The CEA also produces the International Consumer Electronics Show (aka CES), the huge annual event back in Las Vegas next January 6 - 9 (see summary article from last year).

See my Holiday Gadget Guide articles for 2010:
- Holiday Gadgets 2010: Consumer Electronics Wish Lists
- Holiday Gadgets 2010: Portable and Wireless

And my upcoming Holiday Tech Gifts talks:
- Wed., Dec., 1 - Hopewell Public Library
- Tues., Dec., 7 - Computer Learning Center at Ewing

Also see my Digital Media Galleries for more on trends and sample products in these categories
And my Apple iPod / iPhone / iPad Gallery for more on the Apple portable products.

Find the Apple iPad on Amazon.com

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