Holiday Trends – Are you Going to Buy your Child an iPad?

by Emily on December 9, 2011

Currently, the toy industry captures a $22 billion market and Apple is looking to snag a large piece of that market. Smartphones and tablets are very popular with all age groups, and Apple is the most popular retailer of these types of products. A research firm, Gartner predicts that Apple is expected to double the number of iPhones sold to 90.6 million worldwide and the number of iPads sold is expected to triple to 46.7 million.

People of all ages love Apple products and desire them above other competitors who make similar products. According to another research firm, Nielsen, about 44% of 6-12 year olds want iPads as their gift for this holiday season. Next on the wish list for this age group is the iPod touch with 30% of kids wanting the product and third is the iPhone at 27%. Kids are always looking at what their older siblings or parents have and usually want the same stuff. Kids will look to emulate their parents and play around with their iPhone or their iPad and as a natural progression they want one for themselves. Kids of all ages have been found to be using Apple products from an iPod to the iPad. Kids today are very technologically savvy and often know more about how to use the product than their adult parents.

Parents are reporting that they are buying these products for their kids, to keep them busy and quiet on car rides, while waiting for doctors appointments and while grocery shopping or doing other errands. Even if parents buy the iPad for themselves, the kids will end up using them. The creators of many of the applications on the iPad, have done extensive market research and know that the kids will use the iPad and are now actively targeting them as consumers. There is an application on the iPad called iMarker, which Crayola created with Griffin Technology. The iMarker application is a stylus that is similar to a Crayola marker that kids can draw on the iPad with. The targeted age group for this product is marketed to ages 3 and up.  Griffin Techonolgy has another application for the iPad which turns the iPad into a remote control to fly a toy helicopter.  Disney also created an application turns the iPad into a karaoke machine. Many other companies similar to these ones are turning the expensive tablet into a toy for children. Adults once thought of the iPad as a device to bring documents and presentations on the go and to use in business at their jobs. Now, not only is the product marketed to adults for work and leisure, students for e- readers for textbooks, but now to children as toys.

There is a school in Maine that is spending $200,000 on iPads for the entire incoming kindergarten class. There are over 800 educational applications for toddlers on iTunes. Even Toys R Us is selling the iPad and PC world named the iPad the toy of the year for young children. With the competitive nature of colleges and universities today, parents are always looking for a way to get their kids ahead.  Some parents and educators believe that giving infants and toddlers access to an iPad will help them develop skills with numbers and words earlier on than kids not exposed to the technology.

Although parents may be hesitant to hand over their iPhone or iPad to their child, it is actually quite amazing how well children know how to use these devices. If you search on YouTube you can find countless videos of very young children some about 1 years old playing with these devices and actually performing functions on the phone. Many parents are looking for the new device to busy their kids. Cars with DVD players and portable DVD players have entertained children for countless hours on car rides. The iPad goes further though than a DVD player. Some people think that spending the high prices for the iPad for a child to use as a toy is an extreme purchase. Others think that the iPad is not just one toy, it’s a bunch of toys in one.  With new applications being created daily, the iPad could provide endless, new and dynamic entertainment to a child. It is not likely that the child will quickly be bored of the iPad and all its features.

Whether or not you choose to buy an iPad for your child this holiday season is a personal finance decision you may have to make. One thing is for sure though, kids are aware of the technology that is out there and definitely want these items as presents for the holiday season. You may think that investing in an iPad for your child is a good investment to help you keep them busy and get them using interesting and educational applications. Or you may think that its entirely way too much money to spend on a gift for a child and choose to get them other presents this holiday season. Whichever side of the coin you stand on, at least now you are aware of that the industry is not only marketing these products to adults but specifically created applications targeted to children.

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