What’s on your holiday shopping list this year?
If you’re anything like the millions and millions of web users around the world, you might be thinking of purchasing a smartphone, a tablet, a gaming console or a few other geeky essentials for your friends and loved ones — or even for yourself.
According to data from Hitwise Intelligence, a web and search analysis firm, what we search and browse for leading up to the end-of-the-year holidays has a strong correlation to what we actually buy, both online and in brick-and-mortar stores. This kind of information, while invaluable to retailers and marketers, is also fascinating to us as gadget geeks.
We took a look at market share and web traffic stats from the last week of August; here’s a breakdown of how pre-holiday stats stack up for the most popular consumer electronics products:
Apple Is on a Roll
With major releases throughout the year, Apple’s new iPhone 4, iPad and revamped line of iPods are guaranteed to show strong holiday shopping numbers. This brand grabbed five of the top 20 spots in consumer electronics-related markets for the month of August alone — that amounts to 42.1%.
Most of this attention centers on the iPhone, which launched a new fourth-gen model over the summer, and iPad, which hasn’t stopped making headlines since its debut this spring.
But a healthy amount of consumer interest is also focused on Apple’s new iPods. Many of these bite-sized devices hold more data than ever before and are priced to sell. The iPod shuffle sells for $49, and the new touchscreen, iOS-powered iPod nano starts at $149.
The company also refreshed its MacBook Pro line this year.
In other words, as a hardware manufacturer, Apple had a gangbusters year, rolling out product after product, some of which are entirely new. It would be fatuous to think Apple wouldn’t have an equally gangbusters holiday retail showing.
Still, we’ve been keeping an eye on Android OS’ not-so-slow advance in the mobile market. While this multi-manufacturer platform has a somewhat fragmented set of devices and release dates, we are hearing rumors, “trumors” and verified reports of several exciting, holiday-timed launches. Samsung’s Tab, for example, is anAndroid-powered tablet that is set to launch later this fall on all four U.S. wireless carriers.
The bottom line is that although Apple is the heavyweight to beat in terms of hardware and gadgets, there’s still plenty of room for other manufacturers and retailers to succeed this holiday season.
Games and Gadgets Make Great Gifts
By far and away, the two most dominant verticals in consumer electronics will be gadgets and gaming.
Gaming consoles as well as the games themselves are generating a huge amount of interest with consumers, and many companies are planning on holiday launches.
Microsoft’s Xbox is taking the lion’s share of consumer interest right now, we feel due in large part to the upcoming launch of Kinect, its controller-free interaction system. Several Mashable staffers got some hands-on (or rather, hands-off) time with Kinect during a visit to Microsoft’s Redmond headquarters; to say we were impressed would be a huge understatement. Kinect’s hardware is priced to sell at $150, and the Kinect bundle will be available to shoppers beginning November 4.
As far as non-Apple gadgets are concerned, HTC’s Desire and Samsung’s Galaxy S line are both performing well. One product that took us by surprise was the Kymera Magic Wand, a gestural remote control that’s halfAvatar, half Harry Potter. It’s been available for some time and sells for around $78 (£49.95).
What Are Your Predictions?
So, what’s topping your shopping list (and your wish list) for the 2010 holidays so far? Are you enamored of the new Droids? Are you eyeing the reduced-price Kindles? What games, gadgets and software are most interesting to you right now, and which do you think would make the best gifts?
Let us know in the comments what consumer electronics products are piquing your interest right now, and be sure to give us your holiday 2010 predictions, as well.