It probably doesn’t come as a surprise that the iPad is going to be very popular this holiday season.

eWeek reports that a Nielsen survey ranks the iPad as a very popular wishlist item for kids. 31% of kids aged 6-12 expressed a strong interest in owning one in the next six months, compared to 29% for an iPod Touch. It was also popular with kids 13 and older, coming in at 18% just behind smartphones at 19%—beating out Blu-ray players (17%), e-readers or Nintendo Wiis (15%), PlayStation 3 (13%) and iPod Touch (11%).

More kids want an iPad than a video game console? Nicely done, Apple. Of course, not all of them are going to want the device for reading e-books, but certainly the idea that it might help promote literacy will help win parents over.

Meanwhile, Ars Technica says that a ChangeWave survey finds iPads and MacBooks are much in-demand this year. ChangeWave VP Paul Carton said that it’s “the highest level of planned laptop buying ever for Apple in a Changewave survey,” possibly sparked by the new slimline SSD-bearing MacBook Air models.

Research firm NPD says that 11% of consumers are likely to purchase an iPad by February 2011, and ChangeWave concurs with the Nielsen survey that says the iPad is what kids want this year.

On the iPad 2 front, rumors are flying about the next generation of the device, likely to see release in the first quarter of 2011. PC World reports on a Taiwanese newspaper claiming that ship date, and also suggesting that the new device will have “video calling, two cameras, new display and touch technology, and a USB port to connect easily to other devices.”

While the first few features seem reasonable, it is hard to imagine Apple, which has been so finicky about being able to sell new accessories that it broke compatibility with old iPod accessories that used the same physical connector, adding a universal connector like that. Though on the other hand Macgasm notes that it would comply with European requirements for a universal charger on mobile devices.


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