Nielsen: iPad Most Desired Xmas Present For Kids

The iPad is the most desired Christmas present among kids 6-12, according to research released by Nielsen. That’s not a typo, in the elementary and pre-teen set, it’s the iPad that’s tops when it comes to the gimme gimme feelings. Amongst everyone else (those 13 and up), the iPad was #4 on the list, and iPhone and iPod touch also made the Top Ten in both lists.

The survey results, which Nielsen titled “Kids in the U.S. Eyeing Big-Ticket Tech This Holiday Season,” found that the 6-12 year group most wanted an iPad, (31% of respondents), a computer (29%), and an iPod touch (also 29%).

“Of note,” the company wrote, “the iPod Touch outpaces the perennial handheld gaming favorites Nintendo DS and Sony PlayStation Portable – though look for the Nintendo 3DS to make a splash with young gamers when it releases in Spring 2011.”

Apple has long talked about iPod touch and iPhone becoming a major player in the handheld gaming market, and these survey results would seem to back that up.

Nielsen Chart

Another interesting aspect of this survey is that iPhone was #8 on both lists, with 20% of the 6-12 year olds looking for an iPhone and 13% those 13 and up. Above the iPhone on both lists, however, is “Smartphone (non-iPhone),” at #6 on the 6-12 year old list (21%), and #3 on the 13 and up list (19%).

This is clearly an aspect of the trend where Android is outselling Apple’s iPhone as a platform, but the iPhone is the single most popular model by a wide margin. No other smartphone is listed by name, and indeed it’s Apple’s products which stand out as being specific models targeted by name. It’s generic “computer,” but it’s “iPad,” not “Tablet.” It’s “Smartphone (non-iPhone)” for every other phone. Only the gaming platforms, get similar brand recognition in the survey’s results.

Nielsen Chart

All of which begs a question posed by Josh Lovinson of MediaPost: How did the 6-12 year old set discover the iPad as a must-have device? Certainly Apple’s marketing isn’t targeting kids. Indeed, Apple is targeting adults, and yet there the iPad sits atop the Christmas tree list of kid goodies.