Another year, another battle of streaming devices for Cyber Monday. Like 2015, companies like Roku, Apple and Google are discounting some of their already affordable gadgets even further. First up, Google. Retailers of Google Chromecast, including Best Buy, Walmart, Target and Staples, are offering the dongle for $25. That’s $10 off the original price. With an earlier update, the device now allows users to use their phone, tablet or laptop to play, pause and adjust the volume on content they stream to TV. The latest version of Chromecast works with apps like Netflix, YouTube, and Google Play. And this year, Google is teaming with HBO to offer new HBO Now customers 3 months free with the purchase of Chromecast. The $25 price tag makes Chromecast one of the most affordable streaming devices. Equally affordable is Roku Express Plus, which turns your older TV into a smart TV. Walmart is offering the $40 device for $25. As for Amazon devices, the Fire TV Stick with Alexa voice remote (usually $39.99) is on sale for $29.99. The latest version of Fire TV allows users to launch and control content with the included voice remote. It wouldn’t be a real Cyber Monday without Apple deals. Best Buy is offering the 64GB black Apple TV FOR $169.99 ($30 less than retail price), while the 32 GB model is available at Best Buy for $127.49 ($22.50 savings). Ultra HD/4K TVs deals have increasingly become consumers’ favorite Cyber Monday items. This year, the Samsung Curved 65-inch 4K Smart LED TV is available at major retailers for $1597.99 (usually $1967.96). Dell is offering the 50-inch Vizio M50-D1 4K Home Theater Display with a $200 Dell Gift Card and 6-inch Android Tablet Remote for $599.99. Total savings? $250. As for Black Friday week (Monday before Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday), the Consumer Technology Association said Sun that this year’s top tech purchase is TV, followed by tablets and smartphones.
Videogame consoles claimed the #4 spot, followed by tech accessories, laptops, headphones, DVD/BluRay players, portable Bluetooth speakers and finally, digital toys. According to CTA, it was a breakout year for emerging tech. Nascent devices, including virtual reality, drones and digital assistant devices, landed on the front page of retailer’s Black Friday ads, and shoppers’ baskets, for the first time this year, the trade group said. Overall, more people than ever— 135.9mln American adults (an increase of more than 6% over last year)—shopped or plan to shop over the entire 2016 Black Friday Week. Of those 135.9mln, 76% shopped in physical stores and 57% shopped online. Additionally, of those that shopped online, 43% did so via desktop or laptop, and 35% used a mobile device, an increase of 7 percentage points YOY and quickly approaching the number of desktop and laptop shoppers.