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Trade-In Trends Show Tablets and Set-Top Boxes Will be the Hot Holiday Gifts, While iPhones May Sit on the Shelves

Thu, 11/18/2010 - 8:57am
BOSTON, /PRNewswire/ -- Gazelle, the nation's largest RECOMMERCE™ service, has released its 2010 Holiday RECOMMERCE™ report, a forecast of which electronic gadgets the company anticipates will sell particularly well over the coming holiday season based on analysis of recent consumer electronics trade-in trends.

Gazelle accepts hundreds of thousands of consumer electronic trade-ins each year, giving it unique insight into U.S. consumption habits. Prior to some of the major product launches over the past several years – including Apple iPhone launches and the launch of Microsoft Windows 7 – Gazelle saw trends of significant trade-in volume as people exchanged earlier models and similar models in order to upgrade. These trends have proven to be a valuable source for predicting the success or failure of product launches.

This year, the holiday shopping season looks bright for consumer electronics as a whole, but the data is showing some winners will be bigger than others.

Hot for the holidays:

* Set-top boxes: Set-top box trades are the big story this holiday season. After Steve Jobs' Apple TV announcement, set-top boxes burst onto the scene with 300% growth in trade-in numbers, signaling a strong holiday season for not just Apple TV, but Google TV and Boxee as well.

* Tablets: With the success of the iPad and the launch of the Galaxy Tab, both netbook and ebook trades saw substantial spikes. This data suggests that even at high price points, tablets will be one of the most wanted gifts this holiday season.

* Gaming consoles: Typically one of the most static trade-in categories, consoles have seen a surprising 30% spike in trades during the past 2 months. Microsoft and Sony should both be ready for exceptional holiday sales.

* Video games: Heavy trade-in volumes for last year's hit games suggest that demand will be high for those games' latest versions, including: Call of Duty: Black Ops, and Assassin's Creed Brotherhood, Fallout: New Vegas and Star Wars: The Force Unleashed 2.

* Mobile: Phones running the new Windows Phone 7 operating system, including the HTC HD7 (T-Mobile) and Samsung Focus (AT&T), are poised to do well this holiday season. Gazelle has seen a recent uptick in BlackBerry trade-in rates, suggesting that business-minded smartphone users are eager to adopt phones powered by Microsoft's new mobile software.

* E-readers: Reduced price points for the Amazon Kindle, Barnes & Noble Nook and Kobo 2 will once again make dedicated e-readers a popular gift during the holiday season.

* MP3 Players: No surprise that iPods will continue to dominate MP3 sales this year, but specifically Gazelle predicts the iPod Touch will be the big winner since it is currently experiencing a 16% bump in trades, by far the largest of any digital music player.

* Camcorders: Camcorder trades have increased 30%, and Gazelle predicts that it's a prelude to a great holiday season for pocket recorders such as the Kodak Playtouch and the Flip Ultra and MinoHD.

Might be sitting on the shelves:

* iPhone 4: After a long-steady stream of iPhone trades since the launch of the iPhone 4, trades have recently dropped off the map. Gazelle predicts iPhone 4s will be sitting on the shelves while consumers wait it out for the rumored Verizon launch in early 2011.

* Verizon smartphones : While Verizon currently offers a number of top of the line Android phones such as the Droid Pro and Samsung Continuum, Gazelle anticipates muted demand for these phones as consumers wait for the Verizon iPhone launch next year.

* Digital cameras: Cameras have seen a sharp decline in trades, and with few exciting, affordable products for the average consumer, Gazelle predicts low camera sales this year across all manufacturers.

  * Netbooks : As tablets like the iPad and Galaxy Tab become increasingly popular, Gazelle predicts that demand for netbooks will continue to slump through the holiday season. While trade-ins in this category remain high, Gazelle expects consumers to replace them with tablets and ultraportable laptops.

* Desktops : Though they remain popular with gamers and designers, desktops are becoming a thing of the past thanks to the rise of ultraportable laptops, such as the Macbook Air, and tablets like the iPad and Galaxy Tab.

"Analyzing trade-in data is a great way to predict consumer behavior, and this year we're seeing some very clear trends," said Anthony Scarsella, Chief Gadget Officer of Gazelle. "Apple's suite of products is poised to dominate the consumer electronic market again this holiday season, but also expect to see mobile phones running android and windows phone 7 platforms to perform well. With the release of Playstation Move and Microsoft Kinect, gaming consoles and titles should also continue as a rising trend."

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