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October 18, 2005

MP3 Players High on Holiday Gadget Lists

Courtesy of TechWeb News

Peace, happiness, good health and electronics - especially MP3 players - are what people want most this holiday season. If they're young, they want the electronics more than anything, according to a survey released by the Consumer Electronics Association last weekend. Holiday shoppers also expect to spend more on electronics this year.

"Despite concern about the overall economy, consumers intend to purchase, as well as hope to receive a plethora of consumer electronic gifts this season," Sean Wargo, director of Industry Analysis for CEA, said at a conference Monday. "More our survey indicates that retailers and consumers alike will be humming a happy tune entering the New Year as results show the MP3 player is going to be one of the hottest sellers."

Consumer electronics revenues for the holiday season are expected to increase by nine percent over last year, according to CEA's 12 Annual Holiday Sales and Forecasts. Overall holiday spending is expected to rise 14 percent per average household, from $1,254 last year to $1,430 this year.

The MP3 player topped the lists for devices consumers plan to give as gifts and for those they hope to receive. Last year, digital cameras and plasma televisions topped the lists.

Consumer interest in the MP3 player has increased eight percentage points, from 20 percent in 2004 to 28 percent. Revenues from sales of MP3 players are up 105 percent this year.

Young people want video games, according to the survey of 1,000 people. Among people who purchase technology product in the early to mid-product life cycle stages, 57 percent planned to buy MP3 players. Other popular items among those consumers will be: digital cameras, internal PC upgrades, video game systems and home networking devices.

Plasma and big screen televisions, digital cameras, laptops, DVD recorders, home theater speakers and systems are high on wish lists. Givers intend to buy many of the items people wish for as well as home DVD players, cordless phones, portable headset CD players, game peripherals and cell phones.

More people plan to buy gift certificates (32 percent) than any single electronics category.

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