Chance are, if you ask a kid in the U.S. what they want to find under the tree (or holiday symbol of your choosing) this year, they’ll ask for an iPhone, iPod touch, iPad or iPad mini. Those devices occupied four of the top five spots on Nielsen’s annual holiday shopping study among kids aged 6 to 12, which tracks interest in consumer buying intent over the next six months.
The iPad was far and away the leading device in the poll, with 48 percent of kids saying they wanted one. The Nintendo Wii U took second place, despite debuting to generally lukewarm reviews, grabbing 39 percent of kids’ interest. The iPod touch scored with 36 percent of respondents, tying with the iPad mini, and the iPhone followed with 33 percent. Interestingly, the 6th most popular device on wish lists was the general category of “Computers,” the group iOS and mobile devices in general are likely having the most significant market effect upon as they continue to grow in popularity.
Interest in the iPad among children rose by 4 percentage points compared to last year, and the iPod touch and iPhone both appeared on more wish lists than in past years. Each gained 6 percentage points, and the iPad mini also saw strong interest despite (or because of) being a brand new product category just introduced this year. Tablets other than the iPad also experienced a surge, going from capturing 25 percent of kids’ attention to being on 29 percent of wish lists. In general, it seems like mobile devices are continuing a three-year upward trend, which makes sense given increased adoption rates of smartphones and tablets among U.S. adults, which in turn necessarily leads to greater exposure to these devices among children.
Nielsen’s survey also checked the wish lists of kids aged 13 or older, and found that again, the iPad took the top spot, finding a place on 21 percent of wish lists. The general category of computer followed that with 19 percent, with tablets other than the iPad coming in thirds with 18 percent interest. The Wii U and iPhone rounded out the top five with 17 and 14 percent respectively. Among adults, the iPad mini was only on 11 percent of wish lists, just barely beating out the Kindle Fire at 10 percent, and the iPod touch was much further down, striking a chord with 9 percent of Americans 13 and up.
Interest in the iPad actually slid among the older category of buyers compared to last holiday season, and the iPhone also dipped slightly. Apple seems to have very high visibility with children and the youth market, and that’s increasing, but it isn’t necessarily translating into equally big gains among teens and adults according to Nielsen’s survey. Still, the study points to a very strong shopping season for Apple’s devices, both among shoppers with access to their own cash and the younger set who in many households may be driving buying decisions with repeated, persistent requests.