Younger kids think big when it comes to electronics

Although it may be facing increased competition from Android-powered devices, the iPad continues to have a strong fan base, particularly among younger consumers. Results of a survey by research company Nielsen reveal that Apple’s versatile device even tops the list of most-wanted electronics for U.S. kids aged 6-12 years, with fully 31 percent saying they would like to get one in the next six months.

Another Apple product, the iPod touch, was just a couple of percentage points behind, tied with computers as the next most-desirable items. The iPod touch beat out the perennial handheld gaming favorites the Nintendo DS and the Sony PlayStation Portable, although the survey suggests the new Nintendo 3DS will make a big splash when it debuts in Spring 2011.

The only worrying sign for Apple might be the fact that non-iPhone smartphones beat out the iPhone itself, if only by 1 percentage point (21% vs. 20%). (There was no indication whether our 6-12 year-olds would need those smartphones with unlimited data plans or whether they were just interested in calling and texting!)

In a strong indication that pre-teen wish lists are not limited by cost, TV sets, Blu-ray players, the Xbox 360, and the Nintendo Wii also made it onto the list.

The order of most-desirable electronics was shuffled a little for the 13 and older set, with computers (20%), TVs (19%), and non-iPhone smartphones (19%) taking the top three spots. The iPad and Blu-ray players rounded out the top 5.

Microsoft’s Kinect motion controller for the Xbox 360 made it onto both lists, even though the release – and the accompanying marketing blitz – didn’t take place until a couple of weeks after the survey was completed. This supports the forecast of a strong holiday season for both Kinect and Sony’s rival Move for PlayStation 3.

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