It'll be gadgets galore this holiday season as tech firms flooded the market with new toy devices, meant to lure the young and old, that are expected to be snapped up in huge numbers by Christmas shoppers.
The list, market watchers said, will not run out of tempting options as titans such as Apple, Amazon, Google, Microsoft and Samsung made sure that their product lines will catch the eyes of consumers aiming to snare the best buys that tech firms and retailers offer.
The strongest contender, arguably, are the smartphones and tablets pushed out for Q4 by Apple and Samsung, which both upgraded their lines of iPhone, iPad and Galaxy devices.
Apple this week has unwrapped the much-talked-about iPad Mini, which comes with a 7.9-inch screen plus overall features and processing power that largely sustained the attributes of the latest regular iPad version.
It's smaller, cheaper (though not as cheap as some had wished) and most importantly meets the demands of consumers pampered by Apple's end-to-end user experience.
The same goes with the iPhone 5, which essentially is the clone of its immediate predecessor though thinner, lighter, taller (because of its stretched screen size) and faster thanks much to the A6 processor ported by Apple with the handset.
The new handset is now governed by the iOS 6, which also includes the infamous in-house map application that Apple had deployed with the brick in lieu of Google Maps, tried, tested and loved by millions of iPhone owners.
New buyers, experts said, should seriously consider this one flaw on the gadget prior to taking the plunge and looking outside of the Apple-verse, Samsung should loom prominently as it is the number one Android device maker.
In fact, Samsung is the largest smartphone seller to date and that distinction was achieved by the company on the strength of its Galaxy product lines, foremost of which are popular Galaxy S3 and the Galaxy Note.
The S3 is Samsung's marquee phone and it dwarfs the iPhone 5 in screen size at 4.8-inch plus it is equally sexy, sleek and rich in features and functions. In almost every respect, S3 has matched what Apple offers on the new iPhone and since the two gadgets are in the high-end, price-wise, the choice all boils down to ecosystem preference, experts said.
The same case is applicable to the Galaxy Note 2, which essentially is a direct competition of the iPad Mini though analysts would quickly insist that while the Note's screen is smaller at 5.5-inch its hardware specs are far more superior as opposed to that of the Mini.
Apart from being more compact, experts would agree that the Note 2 is virtually at par with the iPad Mini in terms of delivering real-world benefits to consumers so again buyers will base their decision on what mobile computing system they would want to exist with.
The upcoming holiday season will also witness the advent of fiercer competition environment among major tech players with the earlier gadget issues from Google and Amazon, which came in the form of the Nexus 7 tablet (actually manufactured by Asus) and the Kindle Fire HD.
These two tablets caught attention because they were believed as the reason behind the iPad Mini release, effectively forcing the tech giant to ditch its earlier stance that it will not join the 7-inch tablet bandwagon, which proved profitable anyway.
And it became profitable for Amazon and Google mainly because the tablets they peddle attract more traffic and commerce to their sites, offsetting the margin hits caused by the devices that the two companies sell at costs.
Apple's situation with the iPad Mini is far more different and the months ahead will tell if it will attract more buys despite carrying higher price tag when compared to the Kindle and Nexus.
This Christmas season will also be graced by new PCs, hybrid tablets and Surface all set to stand in the new Windows 8. The new platform will spawn too new 'breed' of smartphones running on the Windows Phone 8 architecture.
The engineering behind these new gadgets was nothing short of impressive, early reviewers said, but migration to the platform could be constrained by limited app offerings and at this time it safer to say that all products related to the Windows ecosystem should gain significant headway by Christmas season 2013.
And that should leave a bit more of cash to flow on the game console industry that for the holidays will unveil Nintendo's Wii U, repackaged by its Japanese maker as a complete home entertainment tool.
Wii U, along with Sony's PS3 and Microsoft's Xbox 360, were forced to tweak their products to counter the casual gaming trend that in turn was generated by the emergence of smartphones and tablets as the preferred entertainment gadget.
Gaming hinged on mobile apps has also become an Apple territory, with the iPod Touch now regarded as the top gaming device that even beat out Sony's PSP. The closest to match the Touch is Samsung's Galaxy Player and both lure buyers for packing full amusement functions - music and video player, digital camera and communication tool via Wi-Fi connection - that were lacking from the regular game consoles.
Gamers seem to relish the right fit and services found on the iPod Touch and Galaxy Player, which wipe away the bloat and miss issues in smartphones and tablet computers.
All told, it'll be an exciting gadget hunting for holiday shoppers this Christmas season.
To contact the editor, e-mail: