Revealed: The top Christmas gadgets of the last decade

Smart watches set to top tech-savvy Christmas lists … From games consoles to tablets and wearables, the top technology Christmas gifts of the last decade chart how the world has advanced. The way we game, read, track our fitness and work has been revolutionised since 2005. As Christmas approaches, what better way to celebrate trends in technology than to take a look at the most successful technology products of the past ten years?

Back in 2005, 1.1 million of us sent Shane Ward to the Christmas top spot, and number one on everyone’s Christmas list was the brand new Xbox 360. Demand hugely outstripped supply, with hundreds of gamers queuing for hours in the rain to lay their hands on the console, which sold out in hours. The Xbox franchise has continued to delight gamers; 9 years later, Microsoft announced that Xbox 360 sales stood at 84 million units sold, with lifetime game sales for the platform at $37.7 billion. On last calculation, Xbox 360 gamers have logged more than 88 billion hours of gameplay, which is equivalent to more than 100,000 centuries.

2006 saw Daniel Craig’s first outing as Bond in ‘Casino Royale’, and Sony’s fight back against Microsoft, in the shape of the Play Station 3. First introduced in 1995, the Play Station and Play Station 2 are still the best-selling home game consoles in history. To date the four Play Station versions have sold a total of 344 million units.

2007 was the year gaming got physical, with stocks of Nintendo’s Wii finally becoming widely available to buy. Named a ‘revolution’ by Forbes Magazine, which claimed that the Wii ‘has re-invented video gaming, making it more social, more intuitive and surprisingly physically engaging…it’s potentially the device that will make video gaming as widely enjoyed as board or card games.’ Since launch, it’s sold more than 100 million units.

It’s hard to imagine life before the smart phone, but 2008 was the year the 3G iPhone hit our shores. Now in its 12th incarnation, over 500 million iPhones have been sold, currently making it the best-selling smartphone of all time.

The Amazon Kindle took technology into a new realm, revolutionising the way we consume new and enduring classic literature. The Kindle 2 was launched in 2009 and by early the next year the founder and CEO of Amazon, Jeff Bezos, stated that "millions of people now own Kindles” and that “six Kindle books were being sold for every 10 physical books". Kindle remains the undisputed leader of the e-reader. The company is famously secretive about sales figures but 2013 estimates put sales of all Kindle devices at roughly 44 million.

Pre-2010, the thought of receiving a tablet for Christmas was understandably unlikely to be anywhere near the top of anyone’s list. That all changed with the unveiling of the iPad in January 2010 by then-Apple CEO Steve Jobs. In contrast to earlier tablet PCs, the iPad was marketed as a consumer device that would fill the gap between smartphones and laptop computers. Over 292 million have been sold to date.

2011 was a momentous year for Brits, with the union of Prince William and Kate Middleton. In the world of technology, all eyes were on the launch of the first commercially successful ‘phablet’, the Samsung Galaxy Note. Whilst some media outlets questioned the viability of the device due to its 5.3-inch (135-mm) screen, the Note received a positive reception, selling 1 million units in two months.

2012 was the year that London was Olympics-obsessed, Facebook debuted on the stock market, Felix Baumgartner jumped from space and the iPad went mini. Lighter and thinner than its predecessor, the iPad Mini reportedly sold three million units in the three days post launch.

Sony’s next generation console, the Playstation 4, launched in November 2013. Six months later, 7 million homes world-wide owned a PS4. Having lost several previous battles to Nintendo’s Wii, Sony was finally winning the games console war.

To 2014 and wearable technology; namely the fitness tracker. Sales have risen 250% year-on-year and from mid-2014 to mid-2015, the wearable industry grew by a massive 223%. At this rate, it’s possible that the market will actually reach the predicted $74 billion mark by 2025.

2015 is undoubtedly the year of the smartwatch, combining fitness tracking, time keeping and connectivity in one package. The global smartwatch market has the potential to reach $32.9 billion by 2020, registering a compound annual growth rate of 68% between 2014 and 2020. It’s thought that 135 million wearable devices will be sold by 2018 – 68 million of them smart watches. Few other industries have such growth perspectives, and the potential to revolutionise how people communicate, monitor their health, work, and interact with their surroundings.

James Jie, Managing Director of Huawei UK and Ireland says, “It’s fascinating to see the impact that technology has had upon our lives during the past decade. In the recent past we saw technology as either fitting in with our work life – for instance PCs – or play, in the shape of games consoles. Now those boundaries no longer exist as technology is embedded within our daily lives. This is no more evident than in the rise of wearable technologies such as the Huawei Watch, which combines connectivity with style.”

Jie continues, “At Huawei, we invest 10% of our sales income into research and development to ensure that we are driving new technology forwards. In 2014 alone, we invested $1.2 billion into R&D. The Huawei Watch embodies our unfailing ambition to deliver an all-connected future across wearables, vehicles and smart phones. Looking back at the past ten years, it’s amazing how far technology has advanced and we look forward to being at the forefront of new advancements for years to come.”

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B: This post was sponsored by Huawei.