Holiday Shopping Forecast: Apple to Dominate Electronics Sales

As the holiday shopping season kicks off with Black Friday this week, a report released by research firm ChangeWave forecasts that Apple (AAPL) is set to have "the most explosive holiday season in its history."

The company will be the big winner in an overall surge in consumer-electronics sales this season, according to the report, which predicts that consumer electronics will sell better than many experts expect. In a November survey of 2,812 U.S. consumers, more than 26% of respondents say they'd spend more on consumer electronics over the next 90 days, which represents a jump of 9 percentage points from last month and 3 percentage points from the same period a year ago, according to the report.

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ChangeWave expects Apple's popularity to drive laptop demand. Ten percent of those polled expect to buy a laptop in the next 90 days, the highest level in three years, and 36% of those potential buyers -- representing an 11-percentage-point jump from another survey a month ago -- say they'll purchase a Mac.

But PC sales will be hurt by the huge demand for the Mac, according to the report. The percentage of buyers who say they will purchase a Dell (DELL) laptop has dropped 4 percentage points since last month to 19% this month, its lowest level ever. The percentage of buyers planning to buy an HP (HPQ) laptop also fell 4 percentage points to 22%, ChangeWave says.

Meanwhile, Apple tablets, e-readers and home electronics also appear to be poised for strong sales. For example, 9% of those surveyed expect to buy an iPad in the next 90 days, compared with only 4% for the Amazon (AMZN) Kindle and 2% for other e-readers.

Not all indicators are up. While a higher number of respondents said they'd spend more on consumer electronics this season, even more of those polled -- 29% --
said they'd spend less. Without Apple, holiday consumer-electronics sales might have bombed.

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