Kids' Most-Wanted Christmas Gift Drains Her Wallet All Year Long

The big news in Christmas lists this year is small. Every kid wants an Apple. Each year, the Nielsen survey of what kids want for Christmas moves more and more way from traditional toys and more and more toward electronics and gadgets. This year it’s unanimous: kid’s want Apple products -- iPads, iPod touches and iPhones.

Almost half of all kids surveyed age 6-12 wanted a full-size iPad, with iPhones, iPod touches and various tablets -- full size and mini -- populating Christmas list surveys conducted by a variety of companies these past few weeks. Apple tops the “want” list, but to be sure, Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Android tablets will most certainly make inroads this year as well.

Regardless of the technology, as moms have learned since the advent of video games, a Christmas time purchase of a gift with an interactive screen is a gift that keeps on giving … directly from her wallet. Less obvious than the purchase of a $50 video game, buying apps -- games or otherwise on multiple devices is much more an impulse decision.



“Mom, can I buy Fruit Berry Warrior Snow Game? It’s only 99 cents?”

“Mom, can I buy Battle Bear House party? It’s only 99 cents?”

“Mom can I buy Fruit Berry Warrior Game for the PC. It’s only $6.99?

Mom, can I buy demo version, Idaho Potato Peeler – it’s $3.99, but I need it for my iPod touch And my computer because I can’t play with my cousin on the iPod, but can’t play at school except on the iPod?”

This gets expensive, not to mention confusing. Moms of middle schoolers and late elementary may have already discovered this phenomenon and have warned grandparents and other relatives that the best present is a gift card to the Apple store! Moms purchasing their first iPad for their toddler are in for a big surprise … and perhaps some early math education. 

What does this mean for brands? Opportunity and disruption. More money spent on apps, means less going toward traditional toys. More apps mean more eyeballs on mobile, so more advertising and product placement opportunities. More than anything, it means -- things, once again, will rapidly change this year as mobile computing creatively disrupts the way we do everything from eat to play.

2 comments about "Kids' Most-Wanted Christmas Gift Drains Her Wallet All Year Long ".
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  1. Jen Mcgahan from MyTeamConnects, November 23, 2012 at 10:59 a.m.

    You got that right, Maryanne! Buyer beware: Make sure your iPad settings don't allow in-app purchases!! I learned this the heard way. Within days of giving my son the iPad to play free games, he purchased over $800 in fish food for the free game "Zombie Fish." By the time I got the receipts from itunes, it was too late!

  2. Sione Palu from Feynmance, November 25, 2012 at 4:22 p.m.

    An excellent christmas gift for mid to high school level kids who love science, mathematic & engineering is an IPad with Maple CAS (computer algebra system) software installed (available from MapleSoft for freedownload - A Canadian company). They can have fun using their IPads, plus they take their math with them where ever they go during the christmas holiday. Maple CAS software is perhaps the best commercial tool out there for math education and also scientific & engineering R&D. It's used at Universities from around the world and also in private sectors' R&D. IPad plus Maple installed will be the perfect christmas gift for kids. They can have fun and at the same time, they are investing in their future's education.

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