iDevices dominate kids’ wish lists this holiday season

Kids’ holiday wish lists used to be so simple. Furby. Tickle Me Elmo. Cup and Ball. Sure, when these items became mega popular parents had to scour the black toy market to fulfill the demands of their little snowflakes, but purchasing these items at retail was relatively inexpensive.

Those days are gone, however, according to a new study by Nielsen. This holiday season, perhaps more than any other, kids age 6 to 12 are amped to be wired, and we’re not just talking about a sugar rush.

Nielsen surveyed kids age 6-12 and age 13-plus on what products they were most interested in buying in the next six months. For the younger kids, Apple’s iPad, iPod Touch, iPad Mini, and iPhone claimed four of the top five spots on the list, with 33 percent of kids saying they wanted the iPhone ranging up to 48 percent wishing for the iPad. Only Nintendo’s Wii U cracked Apple’s stranglehold on kids’ minds, popping in at No. 2 on the list with 39 percent of wishes.

The numbers are interesting in that they show just how aware of tech youngsters are, but what is extra interesting about the Nielsen study is how the numbers change when looking at the same survey but of teenagers aged 13 and over. In that survey, the iPad still takes the top spot with 21 percent of teens saying they are interested in buying in the next six months, but the next four spots on the list are occupied by “Computer,” “Tablet Computer other than iPad,” “Nintendo Wii U,” and “iPhone.” Those results indicate that higher powered computers, or tablets other than the iPad are resonating more with older kids.

Regardless, it is clear that tech is what is on kids’ minds this year, and that means parents will be opening up the pocketbooks not just to satisfy their own gadget desires, but those of their kids as well.

When it comes to devices, kids’ holiday wish lists are simple this year. The most-wanted gifts are predominantly from one company—Apple.  According to a recent Nielsen study, Apple’s popularity leading up to the holiday season continues a trend seen over the last couple of years, with American kids aged 6-12 generally more interested in the latest iOS offerings than other consumer electronics and gaming devices.

Approximately half the children surveyed expressed interest in the full-sized iPad (up from 44% last year), and 36 percent in the new iPad Mini. The iPod Touch and iPhone are also coveted devices among these young consumers (36% and 33%, respectively).  Kids are also likely to ask for dedicated gaming hardware this holiday, with 39 percent excited to own Nintendo’s just-released console offering, Wii U, and 29 percent indicating they want a device from that company’s portable DS family.  Microsoft’s Xbox 360 and Sony’s PlayStation 3 also proved appealing, with approximately one-quarter of kids 6-12 saying they want these high definition consoles.

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