Tech Holiday Sales Down 5%

U.S. consumer technology  holiday sales were down 5 percent in 2010 totaling $10.3 billion, according to a new report from The NPD Group.

Heavy sales promotions early in November, before Black Friday, did not convince shoppers to spend early as sales for the first three weeks of the month fell by 5 percent compared to the previous year. Overall NPD estimates that 2010 sales for the 9 week sales period will total $14.9 billion down 4 percent from last year.

Music Still Leads In iTunes Purchases

Almost all iPhone or iPod touch users have downloaded a free app, but 82 percent have actually made a music purchase from iTunes, according to a new survey from NPD.

Cloud Music Service Coming To iTunes?

More than a quarter of Apple iTunes users have a strong interest in a free cloud-based music option, and many would be willing to pay a subscription fee to access their own music libraries on multiple devices, according to a new report by The NPD Group.

Extreme Gamers Spend 48 Hours Per Week Gaming

Extreme gamers, which represent 4 percent of the total U.S. gaming population, spend 48.5 hours a week playing games, according to a new report from The NPD Group.

 Overall, U.S. gamers spend 13 hours per week playing games, up from 12.3 hours in 2009.

iPhone And iPod Touch Users Lead In Downloading

Only 16 percent of Americans over the age of 13 are using devices besides their home computers to download software apps, music, video, and other entertainment content from the Internet, according to a new report by The NPD Group.

The report found three-quarters (75%) of iPhone and iPod Touch users are connecting to the Internet to download entertainment content and apps, compared to 19 percent of game console users and 17 percent of Blu-ray Disc (BD) set-top users.

Apple Owners Show Most Interest In Buying An iPad

Awareness of Apple’s upcoming iPad release is highest among current Apple owners, (82%), consumers with $100,000 or more income (80%), and 18-34 year olds (78%), according to a new report by The NPD Group.

Those demographic groups are the ones with the most interest in buying an iPad. Only 18 percent of all consumers indicated a real interest in owning an iPad while 27 percent of 18-34 year olds and 24 percent of Apple owners said they were extremely or very interested.

Online Gaming Growth Up 10%

The average number of hours spent each week on online gaming has climbed 10 percent since 2009, while an average of 20 percent of all games purchased were digitally downloaded up from 19 percent in 2009, according to a new report from The NPD Group.

 Among those reporting they personally play video games on at least one type of console, 54 percent said they play games online, down slightly since 2009 and 2008 (56% and 55% respectively).

Mobile Phone Buyers Prefer Touchscreen Interface

While text messaging continues to be the top motivating feature for mobile phone buyers, American consumers are increasingly purchasing handsets with touch screens or QWERTY keyboards, according to the latest report from The NPD Group.

The report found all 10 of the top-selling mobile phones purchased in the fourth quarter of 2009 came with a touch screen, a QWERTY keyboard, or both.

Majority Of E-Reader Owners Have No Complaints

Owners of e-readers such as the Kindle report they are happy with their devices according to a new study by The NPD Group.

The majority (93%) of owners said they were "very satisfied" or "somewhat satisfied" with their device. Only 2 percent indicated any level of dissatisfaction.

Features are important to e-reader owners. More than half (60%) said wireless access was their favorite feature on their e-reader and nearly a quarter (23%) mentioned touch.

OS Software Revenue Up 35%

U.S. retail operating systems boxed software revenue increased 35 percent in 2009, but it was not enough to lift non-games software into positive territory, according to new research from The NPD Group.

Total retail non-games software revenue fell 7 percent in 2009 to $2.4 billion.  That is an improvement over the 10 percent decrease in 2008. Unit volume for 2009 dropped 6 percent and average selling price dipped 2 percent.