Can Apple Stay on Top Through the Holidays?

As the holiday shopping season gets into top gear, technology companies are also kicking up sales initiativesApple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Samsung continue to hold a strong and comfortable position as far as festival shopping goes, but Google (NASDAQ:GOOG), Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN), Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), and Nokia (NYSE:NOK) are also pushing hard to get their smartphone and tablet devices greater exposure and sales.

Apple devices are going off the shelves steadily, with iPad minis selling out almost immediately in some locations. A survey conducted by Reuters showed 1 in 3 people thinking about buying a tablet, and 42 percent of them favored one of the iPad models. Another 16 percent were considering the Kindle Fire and 14 percent a Samsung Galaxy, while a mere 4 percent wanted Microsoft’s Surface. Many cite simplicity, ease-of-use, and a cross-product ecosystem as the reasons they consistently choose Apple products.

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On the other hand, non-Apple users choose to cite exactly this simplicity as the problem. They say there are often limits to what they can do with Apple devices, and criticize the ecosystem, saying they don’t “want to get stuck” in it. Many of those consumers are turning to Android devices, with Samsung being especially popular, and a smaller few checking into the Windows mobile experience. Another draw for Android devices is their affordability for less wealthy consumers, which gives Android extra selling power around the world in developing economies.

As Apple stands on top of the tablet market, Microsoft struggles to make inroads, and Android floats somewhere in the middle, the holiday season shopping could turn the tides of sales for any of these manufacturers.

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