Survey: Hot Tech for the Holiday

on November 23, 2015

I recently ran a survey asking consumers what categories they have prioritized on their Holiday Season shopping list, either for themselves or as a gift. Here are the results.

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As you can see, it looks like tablets will again have a good holiday quarter, as they typically do. I can see a product like the $50 Amazon Kindle Fire doing exceptionally well during the holidays as more and more consumers get drawn to the idea of low-cost tablets for pure entertainment consumption for the car, shed, living room, etc. As we learned last holiday season, this low-cost tablet dynamic is a trend I expect to continue.

I also believe the iPad will see an uptick. Other supporting data I have suggests a portion of the iPad 2 installed base may be ready to upgrade and that alone should be enough to help iPad sales a bit.

Headphones are also a category that has typically done well during the holidays. Beats rode this trend for a while but Bose headsets are rising in the buying polls as well. Retailers I have spoken with are already seeing the headphone category gain momentum.

Lastly in the top three are health and fitness wearables (I asked a separate question on Apple Watch and other smartwatches). This category has been gaining momentum over the past six months and Fitbit has remained the beneficiary of this momentum. I expect them to have the lion’s share of sales in this segment during this upcoming holiday season.

Having done holiday buying analysis many times before, there isn’t much here that surprised me. You’ll note I asked specifically about the Apple Watch since I’m keeping a close eye on this product, but I also asked a general smartwatch question as well, covering the category outside of the Apple Watch. Where the Apple Watch falls on this list does not surprise me given how new the category is. I’m also not surprised at the overall lack of interest in smartwatches in general from consumers. For wrist-based tech, the dedicated fitness products are where most the market is leaning right now.

Lastly, I want to touch on laptops. I’ve been running a number of specific studies on the PC market. In nearly every study I run, ranging from intent to upgrade existing PC in next 6 months or 12 months, the range is consistently in the 20-30% of consumers saying they intend to buy a new PC at any time in the next year. The holiday is typically a good quarter for PCs and the category should do well when we include 2-in-1 PCs where the combined products make up 35% of respondents indicating intent to buy. Worth noting is the data from other studies I’ve done recently that only four PC brands rank in consideration to purchase. They are, in no particular order, Dell, HP, Apple, and Microsoft.

Also, expect a healthy portion of this holiday tech shopping to happen on Black Friday. During this study, I asked which promotional events will motivate tech purchases the most and Black Friday ranked the highest with 48% of consumers saying Black Friday deals will influence their tech purchase timing the most.