iPads, E-Readers, Notebook Computers Top Wish Lists

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This is the VOA Special English Technology Report.

A report by the Consumer Electronics Association says electronics are among the most popular gifts being bought this holiday season. It also predicts that spending on these devices will set new records.

The CEA says consumers will spend an average of about two hundred thirty dollars on electronics. This is five percent more than last year and the highest level since the organization began keeping records of holiday spending.

Jim Barry is a spokesman for the Consumer Electronics Association. He says the CEA study found that electronics represent three of the top five things on its "holiday gift wish list" this year.

JIM BARRY: "Notebook computers are at the top, followed by iPads and then e-readers. IPad is a touch-screen tablet computer and that's really the big player in that category."

The computer company Apple began selling its small, touch-screen computers in April. The company reported that it had sold more than three million iPads by the end of July. Its latest earnings report shows sales of more than four million iPads during the last three months of this year.

People use the touch-screen computers to surf the Web, write e-mails, watch movies and read books.  Since the iPad's release earlier this year, several other companies have come out with their own tablet computers just in time for Christmas.

A report from the e-Marketer research group predicts that worldwide, tablet sales will reach more than eighty-one million in two thousand twelve. Still, Jim Barry says these devices are facing tough competition this year from another Christmas favorite.

JIM BARRY: "Another hot category right behind that are the e-readers. So you can read on an iPad or a touch-screen tablet, but the e-book readers are less expensive. The Kindle is the market leader there, from Amazon.  But you also have the Nook from Barnes and Noble and the e-reader from Sony. And you have more and more of those e-readers coming into the market as well."

Jim Barry says modern technology is changing the way people relate and increasing their expectations for their electronic devices.

JIM BARRY: "The buzz phrase in the industry is 'content anywhere.' And it's really the ability to take your information and entertainment with you just about anywhere to stay connected to your work and your family. And that's what all of these devices do."

The Consumer Electronics Association report found that iPod music players are also in high demand this holiday season. So are video game systems and digital cameras.

But not all of the things on the holiday gift wish list involved electronics. Clothes, cars and motorcycles also made the list. So did family togetherness and good health. And the one thing that people wanted most?

JIM BARRY: "At the top of the list was peace and happiness."

That is also our wish for you this holiday season. And that's the VOA Special English Technology Report, written by June Simms. I'm Steve Ember.

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