It doesn't exactly come as the shock of the century, but shoppers are set to spurn purchases of traditional PC devices in favour of more interactive toys this holiday season, according to the latest research.
A PriceGrabber survey has revealed that 59 per cent of consumers would prefer to receive a tablet as a festive gift, and iconic US manufacturer Apple unsurprisingly ranks at the top of the collective wish list: nearly two-thirds of respondents (63 per cent) proffered that their preferred present would be a third or fourth-generation iPad, with a further 24 per cent saying that they were hoping for an iPad mini.
In other words, it looks like it's going to be a characteristically strong sales performance from Apple as 2012 draws to a close, with nearly 90 per cent of respondents desiring some kind of Apple tablet.
That obviously bodes well for the Cupertino-based tech titan, as does the fact that iPad mini was cited as the most desired device in the hugely competitive 7in mini tablet category, with 45 per cent of respondents saying it was their lower-priced slate of choice, as opposed to 27 per cent with eyes on Amazon's Kindle Fire HD, and 19 per cent who wanted the Google Nexus 7.
However, that doesn't mean that the consumers surveyed are eschewing other manufacturers – just that they sound like they're a bit of a greedy bunch. In addition to the demand for Apple, Amazon, and Google products, the PriceGrabber study also revealed that 22 per cent of people are hoping for a Samsung Galaxy Note Tab and 13 per cent want to receive Microsoft's new Surface tablet.
"Tablets continue to grow in popularity as a top holiday gift, especially with the emergence of lower-priced tablets targeting budget-conscience consumers," said PriceGrabber VP Rojeh Avanesian in a statement.
"We expect to see a lot of shopping activity in the tablet category again this holiday season, with retailers' battling it out to win the consumer dollar," he added.
PriceGrabber's research draws on the views of nearly 1,500 shoppers in the US - where buying behaviour is typically similar to UK consumer patterns - and represents more worrying reading for the traditional PC industry - last month, po-faced bean counters Gartner again highlighted a decline in global PC shipments of over 8 per cent in Q3 2012.
Already looking ahead to the end of December? Stay tuned as ITProPortal will be rolling out a range of in-depth buyer's guides in the coming weeks.
In the meantime, you might want to check out our "Apple iPad mini or iPad 4: which should I buy?" feature. Alternatively, maybe you want to ponder a spec comparison between the Google Nexus 7 and iPad mini, or even go a bit off piste and consider the new Windows Phone 8 handset line-up, featuring the Nokia Lumia 920 and Samsung Ativ S.
Homepage image credit: Molly Sassmann via Silicon Angle