Cyber Monday

The 2010 holiday shopping season, is in full swing, and by all indications today, Cyber Monday, should prove to be very robust. Stats from Black Friday stats look good as the average shopper spent 6.4% more over the Thanksgiving weekend than he or she spent last year, according to Bloomberg News. Shopping traffic on Black Friday itself was up 2.2%, Bloomberg reported, and it appears the U.S. consumer is nothing if not cheery and resilient.

Some 70.1 million people will do their holiday shopping online at the office this year, or about 54.5 percent of the workforce with Internet access, the National Retail Federation said. Men more so than women will hit online stores, as well as young adults between the ages of 25 and 34. What does this say about productivity? Nearly nine out of ten retailers plan to offer special deals such as free shipping.

Many companies have made a great deal of sales over these past few days, and are set to continue to do the same today. Analysts say that Apple for example will lock down its dominance of the touch screen computer market, by moving more of its iPad tablet devices through retail partners, including Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Target Corp. and Verizon Wireless. A recent survey by ChangeWave Research found that 9% of holiday shoppers plan to buy an iPad in the next 90 days. Apple has sold more than seven million iPad’s since the device went on sale in April.

Of course, Apple won’t be the only beneficiary of the season’s spirit. Smartphones are expected to do well as more utilities and productivity apps become available for phones running Google’s Inc.’s Android operating system, as well as Research In Motion’s BlackBerry and Hewlett-Packard’s Palm products. Please look into this as soon as possible and let me know what comes of it.

Smartphones are also likely to get a lift from gamers. The devices have grown in popularity with video game players and now elbow out handheld gadgets made by video game industry mainstays. In fact, nearly a third of teenagers said they wanted a smartphone rather than a Nintendo Co. DS or Sony Corp.’s “PlayStation Portable,” according to a recent Nielsen Co. study. “They think the iPod is cooler than the DS,” said Michael Pachter, an analyst at Wedbush Securities, who bought his two children an Apple handheld. He said they the love the gadget because there are thousands of games, many of which are free, that they can download at the touch of a button.

Smartphones might also cut into sales of GPS units, analysts say. Many smartphones come with pre-installed location software, while others support services like Google Maps, which can be used for free. The more location technology is built into handheld phones, the less people need gadgets from Garmin Ltd., TomTom NV and other.

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