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From VOA Learning English, this is the Technology Report in Special English.
Consumer electronics once again topped the list of the most wanted gifts this holiday season.
“Seventy-six percent of consumers who plan to buy holiday gifts say that they will spend money or buy at least one technology product; definitely a solid vote of confidence for technology.”
Steve Koenig is with the Consumer Electronics Association. He says the group’s latest research also shows that Americans this year are spending more on technology products.
“Here in 2012, $252 on average – the technology spend for consumers this year.”
From tablet computers to smartphones, American shoppers have been lining up to get the newest and coolest electronic devices on the market. There are more choices today than ever before.
“It’s kind of hard to make a decision.”
Tablet computers are one of the best-selling products this year. Brian Tong is Senior Editor of CNET.com. The website reports on tech news and examines the latest electronic products. He says the Apple iPad Mini is one of the most popular tablets. Its starting price is $329. One of Apple’s biggest competitors is the Google Nexus 7. It starts at $199.
“The hardware inside is more powerful than what’s in the iPad Mini, but also it offers you a lot of things like maps that work better than Apple’s maps.
Brian Tong says there is one reason why people may like the iPad Mini more than the Nexus 7.
“If you just want to read books and surf the Internet, really you don’t really need to get an iPad Mini, but if you want the largest robust group of apps that’s where the iPad and Apple’s ecosystem shines the most.”
Elman Chacon is with the electronics store Best Buy. He says another hot product this season is smart cameras. They connect to the Internet through WiFi. This makes it easy for users to email or upload photographs directly from the camera.
“You can literally take a picture, upload it into your Facebook in a matter of seconds. These things are pretty cool because they do a lot of things.”
Streaming media boxes also connect to the Internet. People are able to watch web content such as movies and YouTube videos on their televisions. Another popular item is wireless speaker systems. The newest ones work with any device that has Bluetooth technology, including smartphones, laptops and tablets.
With the growing popularity of Internet shopping, many consumers will visit a store first to look at a product, and then go online to find it at a lower price. Stores like Best Buy understand that and they want to stay competitive.
“We have something called the perfect match promise which means if you buy a certain device and you find it cheaper within 30 days we’ll go ahead and price match that for you.”