Tablets beat out PCs on holiday shopping lists

PC industry takes another slap as majority wish for a tablet under their tree

Holiday wish lists may deal another blow to the PC industry, according to a new survey.

Asked if they'd rather receive a PC or a tablet as a holiday gift, 59 per cent of respondents in a PriceGrabber survey opted for the tablet, the price comparison shopping site said.

When asked which tablet or tablets they wanted, 63% of respondents said they want an iPad 3 or an iPad 4, while 24% said they're hoping for an iPad mini. ( Apple's iPad launched in March is known as the iPad 3, and the latest tablet, the fourth-generation iPad released in in October, is commonly known as the iPad 4.)

However, it's not all about Apple. Twenty-two percent of those surveyed said they would like a Samsung Galaxy Note Tab while 20% said they are hoping for an Amazon Kindle Fire HD, according to PriceGrabber.

Another 13% have Microsoft's new Surface tablet on their holiday wish list.

"Tablets continue to grow in popularity as a top holiday gift, especially with the emergence of lower-priced tablets in the $200 to $300 price range targeting budget-conscience consumers," said Rojeh Avanesian, a vice president at PriceGrabber, in a statement. "We expect to see a lot of shopping activity in the tablet category again this holiday season, with retailers' battling it out to win the consumer dollar."

The survey results aren't good news for the PC market, which has been battered over the last year by a sluggish global economy and consumers' growing penchant for tablets instead of PCs.

Research firm Gartner last month said global PC shipments dropped 8.3% year over year, with a total of 87.5 million units shipped in the third quarter of 2012. IDC, another industry analyst firm, reported that the global market fell 8.6% in the same period.

The PriceGrabber survey, which polled 1,475 U.S. online shoppers between Oct. 24 and Nov. 1, showed that of the lower-priced tablets, the iPad Mini is the most popular, with 45% saying it would be at the top of their holiday wish lists.

According to PriceGrabber, of those who chose the Mini, 47% said they appreciate its portability and smaller size, while 38% liked its lower price point compared to the regular iPad.

Coming in second was Amazon's Kindle Fire HD with 27%, while third place was a tie between the Google Nexus 7 and Amazon's Kindle Fire with 19%.

Sharon Gaudin covers the Internet and Web 2.0, emerging technologies, and desktop and laptop chips for Computerworld. Follow Sharon on Twitter at @sgaudin, on Google+ or subscribe to Sharon's RSS feed. Her email address is sgaudin@computerworld.com.

See more by Sharon Gaudin on Computerworld.com.

Read more about tablets in Computerworld's Tablets Topic Center.

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