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Holiday Consumer Electronics Upside

Many high-tech holiday shoppers are bypassing bargain bins in favor of high-end electronics. Revenue from holiday sales of personal electronics is expected to rise 9 percent over last year, says the Consumer Electronics Association.

�Computers The average price of a PC jumped 11 percent during the first week of the holiday season from a year ago, says researcher Current Analysis. That compared with a 3 percent decline in 2004. Shoppers are splurging for laptops, which usually cost more than desktops, says Current Analysis analyst Samir Bhavnani.

�Video game systems. Microsoft's new Xbox 360, which comes in $300 and $400 models, appears to be a hit. Although Microsoft hasn't released sales figures, many stores sold out shortly after it launched on November 22. The Xbox 360 was the No. 1 search last week on Shopping.com, a shopping website. Also in the top 10 searches: Sony's PlayStation Portable ($250).

�Music players. Apple recently released two digital music players: the Nano (in $199 and $249 models), and video iPod ($299 and $399). Surprisingly, the more expensive iPods have been selling as well, if not better, than the lower-priced ones early in the shopping season, Bear Stearns equity analyst Andy Neff said in a research note. Some stores are running out.

�Cellphones. Sales of Nokia's 8801 cellphone ($899), available from Neiman Marcus, have "far surpassed" expectations, spokesman Keith Nowak says.

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