For Cyber Shoppers, Gadgets Look Hot

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By Ian Sherr

The holiday shopping season, which starts online Cyber Monday, promises to be very good for Apple Inc.

The Cupertino, Calif.-based consumer electronics giant will likely take advantage of the gift-giving season to flex its muscles, grabbing market share for its popular iPod, iPhone and iPad products.

In particular, analysts say Apple will lock down its dominance of the touchscreen computer market, moving more of its iPad tablet devices through retail partners, including Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Target Corp. and Verizon Wireless. A recent survey by ChangeWave Research found that 9% of holiday shoppers plan to buy an iPad in the next 90 days. Apple has sold more than seven million iPads since the device went on sale in April.

Of course, Apple won’t be the only beneficiary of the season’s spirit. Smartphones are expected to do well as more utilities and productivity apps become available for phones running Google Inc.’s Android operating system, as well as Research In Motion Ltd.’s BlackBerry and Hewlett-Packard Co.’s Palm products. That software, known as apps, gives people a reason—other than making calls—to use their phones.

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(Published Nov. 29, 2010, in The Wall Street Journal.)