Kids want to receive tablet computers as gifts this holiday season (Photo credit: Shutterstock)

Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, or any holiday, chances are that gift-giving will be a big part of the revelries. But apart from our own wish-lists, it’s the kids’ presents that usually take center-stage. These days, kids no longer root for model cars, train sets or bicycles. They seem to be wanting electronic gadgets more than anything else. A recent Nielsen survey gives us a peek into just what devices they want.

Nielsen has found out that iOS devices dominate kids’ holiday gift wishlists, with the iPad coming out as number one at 48%, followed by the Nintendo Wii U at a distant 39%, for kids aged six to 12. Among the top five, four entries are iOS devices, namely the iPad, iPhone, iPod touch and iPad mini.

Tablet computers “other than the iPad” come at an eight place. This may include devices like the Microsoft Surface, Google Nexus 7 and perhaps the Google Nexus 10. The Amazon Kindle Fire HD might be included here, although Nielsen has counted e-readers and the Kindle Fire each as a separate entry. Being a kid-oriented survey, these other tablets might also refer to kid-friendly tablets like the Tabeo, Nabi, and MEEP (and perhaps in other markets, LG Kids Pad we earlier featured).

Meanwhile, smartphones “other than iPhone” are at a distant #14, with 20% of kids surveyed saying they’re interested in one.  Android smartphones are further down the list, at #19, with 16%. Samsung’s Galaxy series (note or tab) likewise has its own entry, but it comes at #22 with 9% of respondents saying they want one.

Among kids 13 years and above, though, other-branded tablets come out as third. The iPad is still #1 at 21%, with a personal computer (desktop or laptop) at 19%, then a non-iOS tablet at 18%. Meanwhile, for this demographic, the iPhone comes at #5, with 14%. Other smartphones are at #8, at 12%. Android smartphones are at #10 with 11%. Meanwhile, Samsung Galaxy Tab or Note is at 14th place, with 9% of kids 13 and above rooting for one.

Android vs. iOS

Digging deeper into the survey, I noticed a few things that might have helped skew the results toward Apple’s iOS platform:

  • Android smartphones are counted separately from “other smartphones.” With “other ” ranking higher than Android, does this perhaps mean that kids want Windows Phones or BlackBerrys more than an Android phone?
  • Samsung’s Galaxy series are likewise given a separate entry, and Nielsen has bundled in “Tab” and “Note” together. If this were included in the Android smartphone or tablet category, then that might have been given a big boost.
  • Amazon’s Kindle Fire is given its own entry, which has also been set apart from e-readers. These could have contributed toward the “other tablet” category.

Without access to the raw data, I’m not sure if we can determine the adjusted results beyond the chart given by Nielsen. But if the items were categorized or presented differently, then Android might have a stronger position in this kids’ holiday wishlist.

Whether it’s iOS or Android that dominates, parents might want to take heed . This survey indicates that tablets are poised to be a strong contender as a top selling product. Not only do adults want tablet computers — perhaps for productivity, as a “second screen” or for entertainment — but kids want in on the game, too.

J. Angelo Racoma
J. Angelo Racoma has written extensively about mobile, social media, enterprise apps and startups. Angelo develops business case studies for Microsoft enterprise platforms, and is also co-founder at WorkSmartr, a small outsourcing team that offers digital content and marketing services.