Holiday tech gift buys and 'don't buys'

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By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland

PHOENIX -- When the holiday shopping frenzy hits, everyone wants to know what the best deals are for hot gifts and how to save the most money while out shopping. The latest tech gizmos and gadgets are often the ones with the most tempting Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Thanksgiving Day deals. Or are they?

Tishin Donkersley is the editor of AZTechBeat and has been scouring the Internet for the scoop on  the best deals to look for and which ones to skip on the three biggest shopping days kicking off the countdown to Christmas. 

Reports revealed that in Q3 2013, 455.6 million mobile phones were sold worldwide. Of those mobile phones sold, 250.2 million were smartphones. Between the Apple release of the iPhone and new Google and Windows phones, there are many selections on the market. Currently in the market, Android accounted for nearly 82 percent of the sales worldwide, with Samsung products leading the charge.

For the first time Tablets are predicted to outsell PCs this year, and in a report by Gartner, tablet shipments worldwide expect to increase by 53 percent. What is the hottest tablet? Apple released the iPad Air and new iPad Mini with retina display. Google has the Nexus 7 and Amazon is pushing the Kindle Paperweight.

Wearable technology
2014 has been deemed the year of wearable technology. The hottest themes for wearables include fitness and smartwatches. Analysts predict that the wearable tech market will grow from $1.4 billion in annual sales this year to $50 billion by 2018.

Portable power
Don't get stuck with your phone or tablet dying while you are on the go or traveling this holiday. Portable power are some of the hottest pick-ups and a great stocking stuffer. Some of the gadgets can charge up to two devices and last up to 40 hours.

Mobile spending
A recent finding is that mobile now accounts for 59 percent of e-commerce and shopping via tablet and mobile will add up to about $30 billion for 2013. Mobile spending is here to stay. The tech-savvy will be scouring the web for those deals from their mobile device.

With all of the big box retailers, even, trying to get a jump on holiday spending, consumers may wonder if Cyber Monday deals will stick.

Donkersley suggests that Cyber Monday will have awesome deals, but the inventory may not be there so you have to constantly monitor and shop early at your preferred site. In addition, if there is a gadget that you really want, she suggests you sign up for email and text alerts from, not only the big box stores and, but the actual company that makes the product, as well as follow them on social media to get the latest deals.

So, where do you go online that's reputable? The No. 1 place techies shop is However, the deals are constantly changing. Just  this week Wal-Mart announced that it's promoting "cyber week" starting on Saturday to capture holiday dollars.

Donkersley also cautions consumers about random sites that advertise that they have the hottest gadget for sale at a ridiculous price. Not all sites actually have the product in stock; they; too; are trying to acquire the gadget from the popular sites and stores. If you do plan to purchase from an online site, make sure to look at the return policy because you might be stuck with whatever you purchase.