This Christmas kids are going high-tech. A recent survey by The Telegraph, UK, lists Apple products at the top of the list. The survey results show the following top 10 high tech gifts, as requested by 2,138 children surveyed.
1) iPhone 4 (14%)
2) iPod touch (13%)
3) iPad (12%)
4) Kinect for Xbox (6%)
5) Zhu Zhu Pet Hamsters / Kung Zhu Hamsters (5%)
6) Flip Video Camera (4%)
7) Toy Story 3 Jet Pack Buzz Lightyear (4%)
8) PlayStation Move (4%)
9) LEGO Harry Potter Years 1-4 Video Game (3%)
10) Barbie Video Girl (3%)
Each of these gadgets may or may not be appropriate for children of all ages. Here is a more detailed list as well as my recommendations on age appropriateness.
Increasingly more popular among teenagers, the iPod Touch provides the same capabilities as the iPhone, without the phone. The iPod Touch is a music player, video player, digital camera, and gaming machine all rolled into one. WiFi versions allow for Internet access. The best price I’ve found to date is $288.54 offered by both Amazon and Walmart. This price is for the 32GB 4G version.
The iPhone 4 is definitely for older kids. The iPhone 4 has all of the features of the iPod Touch and adds the phone aspect. When thinking of an iPhone 4, parents must discuss their phone carrier and costs for adding an additional line for children. Currently the iPhone 4 is only available on AT&T’s network. Rumors say that Verizon could offer the iPhone 4 as early as January 2011. For this reason, if you are thinking about purchasing an iPhone 4, you may want to wait until after Christmas. Purchasing an iPhone 4 through AT&T is going to be the best option, but remember you’ll receive a better price for upgrading a current phone and plan and your current plan may have to be extended for up to 2 years. These little nuances need to be confirmed before purchasing the iPhone 4. If purchasing, AT&T and Best Buy both offer the iPhone 4 for $199.99 for the 16GB version. You’ll pay $299.99 for the 32GB version.
While Apple’s newest gadget is very appealing, this one may not be appropriate for kids under 13 years of age. First, they are on the higher end when it comes to pricing. The best price I’ve found to date is $499.00 at Walmart for the 16GB WiFi version. Best Buy sells the same iPad for $499.99. If you have a Best Buy Rewards card, it will definitely be worth it to pay the extra $0.99 for the rewards you’ll receive.
The iPad offers portability with a nice size screen for viewing videos, listening to music, and surfing the Internet. If you travel or are mobile with kids, this could be a great gadget for the entire family. Parents can use the iPad to conduct work, check e-mails, and more; while the kids can use it for entertainment along the trip.
The newest Nano includes a 1-1/2 inch touch screen display. Its compact size makes it ideal for kids on the go. However, when it comes to smaller kids, too small of a gadget could make it an easy target for the “lost” graveyard of toys. Kids 8 and older are most likely able to keep track of the device. Parents should set a specific space aside for charging and storing of the Nano. The Nano has less sticker shock at $171.54 found at Amazon and Walmart alike for the 16GB version. The 8GB version sells for $143.54 at both Amazon and Walmart. To provide parents with a reference, 16 GB can hold approximately 4,000 songs! I personally have not seen an iTunes library over 2,500 songs, so kids should have plenty of room for their music if you want to save the money and purchase the 8GB version.
Xbox 360 Kinect
For those not familiar, the Kinect is an add-on to the Xbox 360 which makes the Xbox games motion sensored. If you watched the family hit earlier this year called “The Jensen Project,” you’re familiar with the game. It tracks full body movement and recognizes the player’s face and voice. The Kinect was definitely put in place to compete with the Wii Fitness. Players must get out of their seats and move around to play the games. For those families already owning an Xbox 360, the Kinect bundle is just $149.99 when purchased at the Microsoft Store. For those that do not currently own an Xbox 360, the entire console and Kinect bundle can be purchased for $399.99.
The PlayStation Move is another motion sensored gaming device. The Move is a controller that works with the PS3. Unlike the Xbox 360 Kinect, the PlayStation Move requires a handheld device which recognizes players’ movements to control the game. The Move is only $99.54 at Walmart and similar $99.99 prices can be found at Amazon and Best Buy alike. If you do not currently own a PS3, you may purchase the entire console and Move bundle for $399.99 at Amazon, Walmart, and Best Buy.
My thoughts on all of these devices is that they are not for the younger children. However, younger children can definitely use these devices with parental assistance. With the current economy, a family gift may be the way to go. Remember with the gaming systems and Apple devices described here, music and games must be purchased, adding to the expense.
Whether you decide on the smaller Apple gadgets or the gaming system add-ons; these high-tech gifts are sure to be a crowd pleaser on Christmas Day. High tech gifts for kids for the holidays are going to be very popular, so purchase early or you may be out of luck.