Apple's iPad is helping drive consumer holiday spending on computer hardware, according to a new note from research firm comScore.
Apple's iPad is helping drive consumers' holiday spending on
computer hardware, according to a new note from research firm comScore.
That news comes as relatively unsurprising, given the iPad's
robust sales throughout the majority of 2010. However, the overall growth in
hardware spending bodes well for retailers and manufacturers, looking for signs
that consumers are spending again after several quarters of a deep global recession.
ranks as the top growing category for the holiday season to date with a
25-percent increase versus last year," reads
the Dec. 19 note from comScore. "Purchases of handheld devices (such as
Apple iPads and e-readers) and laptop computers drove much of the growth."
According to the research firm, consumer electronics also enjoyed a year-over-year growth
of 22 percent for the period between Nov. 1 and Dec. 17. Computer software, excluding PC games, rose 16 percent.
Over the course of those 47 days, consumers spent $27.47 billion online, a 12
percent increase from 2009. Moreover, the week ending Dec. 17 saw four days
surpassing $900 million in sales.
"While no individual days during the week surpassed $1
billion in spending, we saw strength throughout the week beginning with Green
Monday and ending with Free Shipping Day on Friday," comScore Chairman Gian Fulgoni wrote in a Dec. 19
statement. "At this late juncture in the online holiday season, we have likely
already witnessed the peak spending day of the year, which means that Cyber
Monday should emerge as the season's heaviest online spending day for the first
time in history."
Cyber Monday racked up $1.02 billion in spending, an
increase of 16 percent over 2009. The day began life in 2005, as a marketing
buzzword engineered to suggest that consumers used the Monday following
Thanksgiving and Black Friday to click-and-purchase for their holiday gift list
while at work.
The most recent Cyber Monday data suggested that consumers
are using some of the latest tools-including smartphones and social-networking
sites-to finish their holiday shopping. A recent analytics analysis by IBM
suggested that Websites such as Facebook and Twitter have become
tiny-but-growing sales channels. "While the percentage of [retail Website]
visitors arriving from social network sites is fairly small relative to all
online visitors-nearly 1 percent-it is gaining momentum, with Facebook
dominating the space," read a Nov. 27
research note posted on IBM's corporate Website.
Meanwhile, more than 7 million people used their smartphone
for Cyber Monday shopping, an increase from 4 million in 2009, according
to a Nov. 28 research note from the National Retail Federation.
Rumors of Apple unveiling the next-generation iPad in
January have increased in recent weeks. On Dec. 10, Reuters
posted an article suggesting that front- and rear-facing camera modules
will appear in that currently-hypothetical-but-likely device, along with a
higher-resolution screen. Whether those rumors affect holiday shoppers'
decision to buy a current iPad, though, is something unknowable until Apple
issues official sales numbers.
Nicholas Kolakowski is a staff editor at eWEEK, covering Microsoft and other companies in the enterprise space, as well as evolving technology such as tablet PCs. His work has appeared in The Washington Post, Playboy, WebMD, AARP the Magazine, AutoWeek, Washington City Paper, Trader Monthly, and Private Air. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.