In 2012, 48 percent of children ages 6 to 12 will ask Santa for an iPad, according to a new survey from Nielsen.
Each year Nielsen conducts two surveys, one of children 6 to 12, the other of teens 13 and older to find out what they really want for Christmas (or Hanukkah or Kwanzaa). This week, the company released the results of its 2012 survey of 3,000 kids. It found that the answer this year is no different from in 2011 and 2010: Kids want Apple products. Specifically, the iPad.
The iPad craving starts young. This year, 48 percent of kids ages 6 to 12 said they were interested in getting an iPad in the next six months. That's up from 44 percent who said they wanted an iPad in 2011. A full-sized iPad starts at $499.
Kids surveyed were not limited to picking just one gadget, and the next most popular item, for 39 percent of kids 6 to 12, was the Nintendo Wii U, which launched last weekend. The price for the Wii U is $350 to $400.
Thirty-six percent of kids said they want the iPod Touch ($199), and 36 percent said they want the iPad Mini ($329). The iPhone was the fifth-most-popular item on the list, with 33 percent of kids expressing interest in Apple's smartphone.
When it came to kids 13 and older, only 21 percent said they hoped to get an iPad in the next six months. An almost equal number said they wanted a computer (19 percent) and a tablet other than an iPad (18 percent).
Only 14 percent of the older kids said they hoped to get an iPhone.
But that might be because many teenagers already have an iPhone. A survey by Piper Jaffray & Co. of 7,700 kids in October found that 40 percent of teenagers own an iPhone.
In other words, when it comes to older kids, Santa may have to get creative.