Tablets, discounters top U.S. holiday shopping lists: Reuters/Ipsos

Tue Nov 20, 2012 2:37pm EST
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By Jessica Wohl

(Reuters) - Move over computers, your sleek siblings are the prized gift of the holidays.

One-third of U.S. consumers are thinking about buying an electronic tablet this holiday season, according to a new Ipsos poll conducted for Thomson Reuters. And 22 percent of those who want one of the hot devices said they plan to cut back on other holiday purchases in order to afford them.

But the new, smaller tablet from industry leader Apple Inc - the iPad mini - is not taking the world by storm. Only 8 percent named the iPad mini as their first choice, the same percentage that said they would like to buy a Microsoft Corp Surface tablet.

"There has been a lot of controversy about the fact that the iPad mini is $329, that the price might not be right," said Jharonne Martis, director of consumer research for Thomson Reuters.

Still, Apple's full-size iPad remains the leader, with 25 percent picking it as the tablet of choice while 15 percent want to buy Inc's Kindle Fire, and another 15 percent want a Samsung Galaxy device.

Apple sold about 11 million iPads during the 2011 holiday quarter, and this year analysts expect it to sell about 16 million iPads and 8 million iPad mini tablets, Martis said.

Retailers have prepared for a big tablet season. Walmart, for example, doubled its orders for iPads and other tablets and will offer an iPad 2 with a $75 gift card for $399 as one of its specials on Thanksgiving night.

Laptops are still on the wish lists for 32 percent of respondents, while 18 percent would like to buy desktop computers and only 13 percent are looking for ultrabooks.   Continued...

A customer is helped by an Apple employee while looking over the iPad mini after the device went on sale at Apple's retail store in Palo Alto, California November 2, 2012. REUTERS/Robert Galbraith