In the midst of today’s gadget-opia, you’d think it would be easy to pick out CE gifts for the holiday season. But the NPD Group suggests that consumers will be shunning electronics this year in favor of more �traditional� gifts like clothing and toys. And I’m not surprised.
While there are plenty of new and fabulous geek gifts available, there are also plenty of reasons they’re not making it on to holiday shopping lists.
- The Best Gifts You Can�t Put Your Hands On� Literally
The CE category isn’t just about gadgets anymore, but the stuff you can access on those gadgets. And how do you buy someone a subscription service for the holidays? If you buy someone three months free, it’s like giving a kid a piece of candy and then snatching it back half-chewed. Plus you can’t un-wrap a service. Think satellite radio, audible.com, VOD — these are the gifts that keep on taking…
- Even the Gadgets Come with a Service (Fee) Attached
It was a big year for mobile devices. Too bad those shiny toys usually come with a multi-year commitment. Tasty Chocolate phone, smooth Blackberry Pearl, Bond-inspired Motorola Q. All delectable, but not on my shopping list.
It’s nothing new that gadgets often cost a lot of money. But seriously, $800 for a TiVo? [Insert latest rant on TiVo pricing here] $500 or $600 for a PS3? I love my brother, but I also love the idea of putting my kid through college some day.
- Geeks Don’t Like Surprises
If you’re buying for a geek, you have to know exactly what that geek wants. In fact, you’d be well-advised to review technical specifications with said geek before hauling out the credit card. Gee, what fun. Nothing like seeing that look of surprise when the ribbon and wrap come off the box.
I’ve come up with a few solutions, for geeks and non-geeks alike. Digital photo frames will probably hit their stride in the 2006 holiday season. (I’d love to review a few for a round-up piece.) We may also have hit the right time for gadgets that convert old media to new formats � records to digital music files, VHS tapes to DVD, etc.
And then there are the hidden gems. I’ve found one, the Squeezebox. It wirelessly streams your own music collection and lets you access Internet radio for free without a PC. (Review coming shortly!) Others are surely out there. The question is, will we uncover them in time? Or will we be buying silk ties for dad again this year?