The Most Wanted 2010 Holiday Gadgets: Consumer Electronics Association Study

Spending on consumer electronics items will reach an all-time high this holiday season, as the country begins to bounce back from the recession and Apple takes over the world. Santa Claus has received your SMS and will accept your Groupon via Facebook for an "uber-bundle" of iPads for the whole family.

Shawn DuBravac, chief economist and director of research, and Steve Koenig, director of industry analysis, for the Consumer Electronics Association presented market research predictions for the upcoming holiday season at an event in New York on Wednesday.

First up, the 10 most desired electronics items this holiday season:

  1. Laptop
  2. iPad
  3. eReader
  4. iPod/iPod Touch
  5. Video Game System
  6. Digital Camera
  7. Big Screen TV
  8. TV
  9. Computer
  10. Desktop PC

Seventy-four percent of people plan to spend money on consumer electronics this season, and they will spend $232, on average, on these gifts. (Interesting how Apple is the only company that has its products named and it has two in the top 10).

A large driver in CE holiday sales is what Koenig and DuBravac call the 50% rule, meaning half the annual volume of new technologies—tablets, connected devices, gaming accessories, 3-D TV—shows up in the fourth quarter.

"This feels like a law when it comes to consumer behavior," DuBravac says, adding that it wouldn’t surprise him if the 3-D TV market saw more than 50% of the annual volume in the fourth quarter. They expect 8.5 million tablets to be sold worldwide during this time.

Though the recession is allegedly over—73% of people plan to spend money on gifts this year as opposed to 74% pre-recession—everyone is still searching for the best price. To hunt for those deals, 35% of consumers will use their mobile phones and 28% will use social networking.

Another huge factor in CE holiday sales is Black Friday deals, when bargain-hungry shoppers epically line up outside Best Buy and Wal-Mart early in the morning for a deal on a big screen TV, or an "uber-bundle" deal as Koenig and DuBravac call them. These uber-bundles package multiple items together for a lower individual price point, providing a perceived value. (Buy a laptop for everyone in your home for just $1,199!)

After Black Friday comes Cyber Monday, the second-highest online spending day of the year. Consumers spent $887 million in 2009. Walmart even turned it into Cyber Week last year.

Now, we’ve let you in on the top CE wants for the holidays, but the thing that tops all adults’ wish lists is happiness. However, the iPad came in third on the top 10 overall, beating out clothes, good health and family together. Maybe consumers would rather be ill, alone and naked with an iPad than be without one. At least they’ll be happy.

Read about the CES Best of Innovation Award Winners here!

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