Tablets Top the List for Holiday Gifts, Says CEA

Ed Lee
Oct 3, 2014

According to the Consumer Electronics Association’s (CEA) 21st Annual CE Holiday Purchase Patterns Study, the average amount spent on CE gifts by U.S. adults this year will be $286, an increase of 15% from last year. The tech products that consumers most want to receive as gifts this holiday season are tablets (13%), notebook/laptop computers (11%), TVs (8%), smartphones (7%), and video game consoles (7%). At the bottom of the wish list are digital cameras, e-readers, Blu-ray players, and MP3 players (at 2% each), and desktop PCs (1%).

When reviewing device purchase intention of respondents who said they would or might buy a product, digital cameras peaked at close to 40% in 2006; the highest level among all the other devices (video game systems, smartphones, tablets, laptop PCs, etc.) according to the CEA data that spans from 2001 to 2014. The percentage has been steadily dropping since then, to under 10% in 2014.

While consumers want to receive consumer electronics as gifts this holiday season, 63% plan to give the gift of technology this year. CEA expects headphones and earbuds (27% and 26%, respectively) to be the most popular CE devices that consumers give during the 2014 holiday season. Tablets (26%) will also be popular this year, followed by notebook/laptop computers (25 %), TVs (24%) and smartphones (23%). Most digital imaging products were only able to hit single-digit percentages. Action cameras (11%) will be most popular, followed by point & shoot camera and camcorders (8% each), and DSLRs (7%).

CEA says that the big spenders will be households with income levels greater than $100,000, early adopters of technology, 35-54 year olds, and households with children. These demographics are consistent with those whom InfoTrends’ research confirms are the most photo-active consumers.

InfoTrends Opinion

It could be a rough holiday season for digital imaging vendors unless they aggressively promote their new products and target their sales efforts to the most likely buyers of cameras and imaging products. There were a number of new products announced at the Photokina Trade Show in Cologne Germany in September, many of which will be available this holiday season. Imaging vendors will need to ensure that consumer awareness of these products is high.

Imaging vendors also need to get people more interested in photography and get them emotionally involved with their photos again. The marketing message should revolve around recording life’s greatest moments, whether spontaneous or at planned events. The more emotionally involved people are, the more likely they will be to invest in new equipment and create something with their photos, like a photo album or photo book.

To see the full 2014 CEA holiday outlook presentation, visit


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