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Tickle-Me Elmo? How About an iPad?

by Jack McGrath | December 5, 2010December 5, 2010 7:00 pm PDT

What happened to the days where children would be satisfied with simply receiving a new pair of socks or some candy in their stockings on Christmas morning? Instead we now live in a society where kids are more desirous of something significantly more expensive and accident-prone than a humble pair of socks – the Apple iPad. Though it comes as no surprise that the device is on the top of holiday wishlists, many did not expect it to come from such a young demographic. Not only this, but it trumps the demand for gaming consoles amongst children ages 6-12. Now Apple is encroaching on territory previously dominated by Sony and Nintendo. What does this mean for the traditional gaming industry?

childrenipadstats

It is obvious that all kids want for Christmas are iOS Devices, not their two front teeth (which would not be a great gift anyhow); 31 percent of children have written to Santa asking for iPads, while 29 percent have asked for the iPod Touch and 20 percent have asked for the iPhone. Why is Apple seeing so much success in this demographic? Children naturally have an affinity for gaming as it is one of the earliest forms of freedom, and Apple’s intuitive environment has become one of the most interactive experiences.

It is no secret that Apple has poised their advertising campaigns at promoting the App Store, specifically the gaming sector. As it has the largest developer support of any mobile gaming device, it has enough recognizable games that children hear about it on the playground, despite the possible reality of oversaturation of poor titles in the App Store. Despite the lack of quality in many of the titles, children do become intrigued with the possibility of quantity.

One reason why the traditional gaming market may be taking a hit in consumer demand is its point in the console product cycle. Systems such as the Xbox and Wii are already in the households of many, thus the demand goes down. Naturally peripherals, namely the PlayStation Move and Xbox Kinect, are in higher demand, though it is relatively surprising that they did not come close to Apple’s numbers.

The numbers reflected for the teen demographic are not as poor as those listed for ages 6-10, ranking computers and television sets very close with the iPad. Again, the “hardcore” sector of gaming could be taking a hit due to its point in the product cycle, as many teens struggle to find a reason to buy new motion-controlled peripherals as they have a lack of noteworthy titles.

Do you think that it is completely ridiculous for a 6-year-old to ask for an iPad? Do you think that this spells doom for the traditional gaming market? Let us know in the comments below.

[Via Nielsen]


Jack McGrath

Rooted in his childhood obsession with dismantling and reassembling gizmos and gadgets around the house, Jack McGrath's knowledge of programming,...

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