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iPad drives big spike in last-minute Christmas shopping

updated 07:40 am EST, Mon December 20, 2010

comScore says iPad driving holiday sales

iPads and e-readers were the key factors in holiday sales this year, comScore found on Monday. The computer hardware category jumped 25 percent compared to last year owed chiefly to Apple as well as a mix of e-paper devices like the Kindle and Nook; notebooks may also have played a role. Overstock of TVs hurt Best Buy but helped the consumer electronics category grow 22 percent by forcing price drops on LCD and plasma sets.

Other categories of gifts of all kinds grew more slowly, including paper reading (21 percent), non-game software (16 percent) and toys (15 percent).

Much of the turnabout may have come from many retailers offering a free shipping day this past Friday, December 17. Sales between November 1 and Friday were only up 12 percent as a whole, but Friday's sales were up 61 percent to $942 million. The spike rivaled the $1.03 billion in Cyber Monday and suggested that some may have been waiting until the last minute for iPads and other devices. Apple has been offering free next-day shipping towards the end of the season from its own store and may have been matched by others.

Researchers didn't break down tablets or other individual categories, including by manufacturer, but it's believed the iPad will have taken the vast majority of tablet sales this year. Its share may drop in 2011, but the near universal requirement for 3G data plans with the Samsung Galaxy Tab may affect its holiday sales since few gift givers could afford to pay for a tablet data plan.

by MacNN Staff



  1. macjockey

    Joined: Dec 1969


    No Sh*t DUH

    sorry subject line says it all

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969



    It's the perfect "Damn, I have no idea what to get my wife for Christmas. s**** it, I'll get her an iPad. And if she doesn't like it, guess I'm stuck with it." item.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Though it would be nice if the ipad would actually work with an iMac G5 running 10.4. My parents aren't running 10.5, which means no iPad for them. Oh, I guess they could use their 10-year-old PC running Windows XP, because Apple will support that POS. But not their own customers...

  1. SwissMac

    Joined: Dec 1969



    I use my iPad every day, but seldom if ever plug it into a computer. It was authorised in store at the Apple Store where I bought it while on holiday, I bought apps for it while on holiday, and have used it extensively since without needing to connect it to my computer. I think I connected it to my Mac just once in six months, and I didn't need to do that.

    All your faux umbrage is unnecessary. The ipad is NOT an iphone. It works great on its own. It's perfect for the elderly and toddlers alike. Even pets can use it (the cat game app).

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