We're going to spend $21 billion over the holiday season this year

Summary:The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) is predicting that we're going to spend a whopping $21 billion over the holiday season this year, up 21% from a miserly $17 billion last year. That includes the whole works - tree, plastic snowman on the roof, mountain of food and, of course, gifts.

The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) is predicting that we're going to spend a whopping $21 billion over the holiday season this year, up 21% from a miserly $17 billion last year.  That includes the whole works - tree, plastic snowman on the roof, mountain of food and, of course, gifts.

It seems that we shop for gifts with a 'one for you-one for me' mindsetIt's those gifts that the CEA are most interested in.  Hopes are that the average consumer will spend $195 on consumer electronics over the holiday period.  According to the CEA, it seems that we shop for gifts with a 'one for you-one for me' mindset, which means that we spend just as much on ourselves as we do on others.  To be honest, I'm not sure whether I believe that and I put the statement down as wishful thinking on the part of the CEA and its members.

An interesting thing to do with the data released by the CEA is to compare people's wish lists with what people are most likely to buy. 

The top 10 consumer electronics wish list items are:

  1. MP3 players
  2. DVD players/recorders
  3. Digital cameras
  4. Laptops
  5. PCs
  6. TVs
  7. Video games consoles
  8. Cellphones
  9. Camcorders
  10. HDTV gear

The list of items that people are most likely to buy corresponds well with this wish list actually:

  1. Digital cameras
  2. Cellphones
  3. MP3 players
  4. Video games consoles
  5. Portable CD players
  6. Carry cases
  7. Cordless phones
  8. More memory for digital cameras
  9. Laptops
  10. Clock radios

The appearance of a clock radio in the list is a bit off the wall (at least it didn't appear on the wish list - that would have been sad!), and if you ask for a PC it seems that you might be more likely to get a carry case, so watch out (Tip: Ask for a laptop instead ;-) ). 

I doubt it's the delay of Windows Vista that is putting people off buying a new PC. More than likely it's that people upgraded last year.  Home users tend to upgrade on a 3 year cycle, and a starting point that you can use for measuring out those three years is 1999 (pre Y2K), so last year was quite a big year for PCs during the holidays, so that means that this year and the next are going to be quieter. 

What's driving all this spending on consumer electronics?  Two things; price and the upgrade cycle. 

I predict 2007 is going to be a good year for Apple, Nikon, Canon, Nokia, Sony and Microsoft (because of the Xbox 360, not because of the Zune - Microsoft has left it way too late to market this player and it has no hope against the iPod this year).

[poll id=4]

Topics: Hardware

About

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes is an internationally published technology author who has devoted over a decade to helping users get the most from technology -- whether that be by learning to program, building a PC from a pile of parts, or helping them get the most from their new MP3 player or digital camera.Adrian has authored/co-authored technic... Full Bio

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