British parents will spend a whopping £3 billion on gadget gifts for their kids this Christmas, a survey reveals, as high-tech presents supplant more traditional toys on wishlists for Santa.
A study conducted by uSwitch Tech found that more than eight in ten parents will spend £243 on electronic gadgets for their children. However, 16% will push the boat out even further and spend a jaw-dropping £400 or more on gadget gewgaws.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the most-wanted electronic gift this year is tablets, with 24% of parents set to shell out on a slate. Video games are just behind that, with 17% adding it to their shopping masterlist, while one in ten are set to shell out for a smartphone.
Digital cameras (12%), E-readers (11%) and smartwatches (6%) are also popular voices. But in a sign of just how far basic mobile phones have fallen from favour, just 5% of kids put them on their list. That made them 2013’s least popular high-tech token of affection.
Ernest Doku, telecoms expert at uSwitch.com, said: “Many families are preparing for a tech-tastic Christmas this year, with many kids demanding the latest gadgets whatever their age. For many this will mean that the pressure is on to juggle Christmas wish lists with household budgets.
“However, despite some tablets costing upwards of £350, the advent of many cheaper versions - from high street retailers Argos and Tesco, as well as Google’s bargain priced Nexus tablet - may be the solution for parents looking to keep both their kids and their bank managers happy.
Doku added: “Any parent worried about keeping the cost of Christmas gifts down should make sure they get the best deal, and perhaps think outside of the big names. Many of the bargain priced smartphones and tablets are actually still relatively high spec.
“If they’re buying a mobile contract, they should keep an eye on the ongoing costs and consider placing a cap on bills or go for a PAYG deal that will enable them to easily track mobile spend.”
The survey also found that over a third of parents (36%) expect to spend on more gadgets for their offspring next year.