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Consumers Want a Merry Mobile Christmas

Tablet computers edged out money and peace/happiness for top spot . / Credit: Mobile Christmas image via Shutterstock

Forget visions of sugar plums. Adult consumers had mobility on their minds when they drew up their holiday wish lists this year, a new study found. Mobile-connected devices are the most wanted gifts this season, led by tablet computers.

Tablets even edged out money and peace/happiness to take the top spot on the leader board, with smartphones and notebook/laptop computers rounding out the top five, according to Consumer Electronics Association study of holiday purchase patterns.

Consumer electronics, or CE, continue to be among the most wanted gifts this holiday and are expected to account for nearly a third of all gift spending, the study found.

On average, consumers plan to spend $1,634 overall this holiday, up 11 percent from last year, with $842 from their overall budget allocated for gifts, up 9 percent from 2011. Consumers plan to spend $252 on CE  this year, on par with last year’s $246, and three out of four (76 percent) gift-giving adults plan to purchase electronics as a gift this year.

While consumers want mobile-connected devices this holiday season, they’ll also be giving them as gifts. Smartphones likely will be the most popular electronics device given as a gift this year, followed by tablets, notebook/laptop computers and DVD/Blu-ray players.

 Accessories for consumer electronics will likely also be a popular gift this season, with headphones/earbuds, carrying cases and memory cards being among the most popular items given as a gift this year.

Product pricing remains the most important criterion among consumers deciding where to shop for CE  this year, and will likely also influence how consumers find the best deals, the study found. Two-thirds (66 percent) plan to compare prices of CE products online before making a purchase, 41 percent likely will use a mobile device to compare prices while they are in a store, and 28 percent plan to search for promotions on a social networking site.

 Most consumers (79 percent) think overall holiday shopping deals and Thanksgiving weekend deals (81 percent) will be as good as or better than last year.

"Consumers are feeling more confident in the overall direction of the economy this holiday season compared to last year and, as a result, will spend more on gifts, including electronics," said Shawn DuBravac, CEA’s chief economist and senior director of research. "Consumers will be in search of deals this holiday and will be using a variety of channels to find the best possible price on all gifts. Comparison shopping in stores and online will be very common among consumers. They’ll also turn to friends and family, social media, advertisements, circulars and a number of other methods to find the best deals."

Reach BusinessNewsDaily senior writer Ned Smith at nsmith@techmedianetwork.com. Follow him on Twitter @nedbsmith.We're also on Facebook & Google+.

Ned Smith

Ned was senior writer at Sweeney Vesty, an international consulting firm, and was Vice President of communications for iQuest Analytics. Before that, he has been a web editor and managed the Internet and intranet sites for Citizens Communications. He began his journalism career as a police reporter with the Roanoke (Va.) Times, and was managing editor of American Way magazine and senior editor of Us. He was a Captain in the U.S. Air Force and has a masters in journalism from the University of Arizona.