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The Apple iPad proved to be the most popular Christmas tech gift in 2010, mobile broadband operator 3 has claimed.

According to the firm, consumers have found a variety of uses for the broadband-enabled tablet computers, including playing games, networking, surfing the web, and reading.

A study by 3 revealed that the most frequently downloaded applications were Maps, Skype, Angry Birds, eBay, Google apps and Sky Sports News.

The internet service provider said the top service used via its own 3G network was navigation, followed by news services, games, entertainment and travel sites.

Charlotte Blanchard, 3's Director of Internet Services and Products, said the Apple iPad is "an incredibly versatile device".

"It's clear our customers are using it to enhance their lives, whether by staying in touch with friends and family, looking up news, selling things on eBay or just browsing the web," she stated.

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