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The Top 10 Holiday Tech Gifts This Season

CTA Staff

This holiday season, consumers will see plenty of gift guides recommending hot technology products. While these subjective lists are helpful, they don’t necessarily reflect shopper intentions or behavior. That’s why every year, the Consumer Technology Association (CTA) surveys shoppers on the technology they are mostly likely to buy during the holiday season.
According to CTA’s ’s 22nd Annual CE Holiday Purchase Patterns Study, about 74 percent of U.S. holiday shoppers (160 million U.S. adults) plan on purchasing consumer tech this year. The top 10 tech gifts for 2015 are:
  1. Headphones - 28 percent of shoppers intend to purchase
  2. Tablet computer - 26 percent
  3. Portable Bluetooth speaker - 25 percent
  4. Smartphone - 24 percent
  5. Notebook, laptop or netbook - 23 percent
  6. Videogame console - 22 percent
  7. Wi-Fi-enabled speaker - 18 percent
  8. Television - 17 percent
  9. Multi-function printer - 16 percent
  10. Digital media streaming device (e.g., Roku, Google Chromecast)- 16 percent
Televisions, 2014’s top tech gift, saw the biggest drop in purchase intent, falling to eighth on the list. Portable bluetooth speakers, which ranked tenth in 2014, saw the biggest rise, moving up to third in 2015. Portable MP3 players and e-readers, which took eighth and ninth place in 2014 respectively, fell out of the top 10 for 2015.
The decline in the intention to buy TVs as holiday gifts follows a trend common among core technologies like videogame consoles and laptops. When these items first hit the market or experience a significant technological advancement – for example, internet-connected TVs – there is an uptick in purchase intent. That is often followed by a dip in sales, because these products don’t need to be replaced annually.
TVs saw a record-high in holiday purchase intent last year, meaning this year’s decline is likely due to consumers not needing a new (or another new) TV in 2015. Also, bear in mind the TV market has been in a replacement cycle for the past few years. U.S. households have replaced their flagship displays bought in the last decade during the HDTV upgrade cycle. So consumers may be moving off TVs as holiday purchases and shifting dollars to new and emerging consumer technology products.
In 2014, wearable technologies began to trend upward. Now, 12 percent of consumers plan to purchase a wearable device this year. It’s possible this emerging tech product could follow a similar path as other core technologies such as tablets or smartphones.

For shoppers, how does this list compare to your own shopping list this holiday season? For retailers, how does this research align with the products you are marketing most heavily?