Skip to navigation
Latest News

Tablet sales to "double this Christmas"


By Nicole Kobie

Posted on 16 Nov 2012 at 09:49

Tablet sales will more than double this Christmas, grabbing the largest slice of the consumer electronics market.

The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) - the group that hosts the International CES, the massive tech show in Las Vegas every January - expects 32m will be sold in the US alone over the Christmas period, up 112% from last year.

On the other hand, rival products such as TVs and games consoles will witness a decline in sales. "Tablets and smartphones will dominate the holiday season in the US, UK and the rest of the world," said CEA analyst Shawn DuBravac, noting the devices top wishlists of surveyed users - coming above even money and, rather selfishly, world peace.

DuBravac revealed 16% of people said tablets topped their wishlist, followed by smartphones at 8%, laptops at 7% and ereaders at 4%.

Tablets and smartphones will dominate the holiday season in the US, UK and the rest of the world

According to the CEA's research, 76% of people it surveyed intend to buy consumer electronics of some sort for gifts during the holidays - steady with previous years.

Some of that shopping may be via so-called "Black Friday" sales. In the US, the day after Thanksgiving is a major shopping day, a trend that's growing outside of the US, and spreading to the UK. "Amazon has been a big influence in bringing Black Friday-like deals to the UK," fellow CEA analyst Steve Koenig said.

Asked if high street stores can compete - with Comet's recent troubles firmly in view - Koenig said "there's a lot of life lift in retail" but warned Comet's sale as it liquidates could affect other retailers.

CES companies

This year's International CES kicks off 8 January - with PC Pro on the ground at the show - and will be increasingly focused on mobile devices, said DuBravac, saying there's still innovation possible in new form factors. "Manufactures will start to differentiate themselves," he said.

While the CEA was bullish on mobile, it stepped back from 3D - an area of tech it's previously pushed. While DuBravac said 3D devices had seen slow growth, he claimed it was "ramping" up. However, he admitted "not everyone is buying 3D to get 3D, but they're buying high-end TVs".

"It's not a technology intended for everyone," he noted, with fellow analyst Koenig adding: "We never expected it to be a full-time, universally-used viewing option".

Microsoft return?

Microsoft announced last year it wouldn't be returning to CES this year, with a stand or as one of the keynote speakers, handing its long-running slot to Qualcomm.

The CEO of the CEA, Gary Shapiro, said larger companies normally need to book for the following year just as the current show begins, and couldn't say if Microsoft was returning for the following year. "I don't know what they [Microsoft] will be doing in 2014, but either way we'd like to have them back," he said, noting Microsoft was still sponsoring the show, with representatives attending.

He pointed out that floor space was fully sold out, but noted other companies have pulled out - notably BlackBerry. "Companies come and go, that's a fact."

While Julian David, director general of UK IT group Intellect, tried to draw Shapiro on whether CES would ever be hosted in London - or in the "UK's own version of Las Vegas", Blackpool - Shapiro would only say "you never know".

Subscribe to PC Pro magazine. We'll give you 3 issues for £1 plus a free gift - click here
User comments

World peace?

Nah, just gimme a shiny toy that does what pre-existing tech did better, will be obsolete in 2 years time, and will be in landfill in 5. Thanks.

Having said that, I can, if I try hard enough, almost justify asking Satan for one this Brumalia...

By dubiou on 16 Nov 2012


Well, of course it will double, at least in the Apple camp. After all, every iPad owner will now be buying an iPad Mini as well.

By Josefov on 16 Nov 2012

World Peace

You don't give the percentage for world peace!

By mypointis on 16 Nov 2012

The "world peace" and tech preferences were two separate surveys.

For the former, tablets scored 8.3%, cash 4.8% and world peace 4.5%.

I'm not sure if they specified how much cash, as that's rather important...

Nicole Kobie,
News Editor

By Nicole_Kobie on 16 Nov 2012

Too expensive

Tablets are too expensive for Christmas presents... We limit presents to 50€.

By big_D on 17 Nov 2012

It seems everyone wants one.

Loads of people I work with have iPads already with many of them now buying additional ones for the whole family to use.
One couple who have an iPad3 decided to get another for their two kids to use. Having reasoned that the kids would probably end up fighting over it, they've decided to buy them each an iPad mini for Christmas.

The same with friends and neighbours. Most now seem to have an iPad and some of them have bought a second tablet or are planning to, because the whole family wants to use the iPad.

I feel we're the odd ones out here as we don't have one yet.

By GoneWithTheWind on 17 Nov 2012

1 iPad

At work, a software house, we have one person with an iPad and one with a Motorola Xoom.

By big_D on 18 Nov 2012

Even more fat kids from this Christmas?

With all the purchases of iPads from people who already own iPads (iPad, iPad2, new iPad, or newer iPad) but want another iPad for their children (who don’t have iPads yet, the horror) or an additional iPad for the whole family (iPadligoodness?), it seems we're on course to bolster the worldwide obesity epidemic, thanks to the iPad!

Spot the iPad, GoneWithTheWind?

Children don't need a tablet to themselves, just like they don't need their own TV. Let them share the family one and kick them outside to play in the garden when you want it back. Even better now that they can each have their own individual tablet profile, so they can have their own widgets, media and apps on a shared tablet. Well, you could if you had a Nexus.

By TheHonestTruth on 19 Nov 2012


Ow. My brain.

By dubiou on 20 Nov 2012

Leave a comment

You need to Login or Register to comment.



Most Commented News Stories
Latest Blog Posts Subscribe to our RSS Feeds
Latest ReviewsSubscribe to our RSS Feeds
Latest Real World Computing


Sponsored Links

Your email:

Your password:

remember me


Hitwise Top 10 Website 2010

PCPro-Computing in the Real World Printed from

Register to receive our regular email newsletter at

The newsletter contains links to our latest PC news, product reviews, features and how-to guides, plus special offers and competitions.