IT IS the gift that dominated Christmas -- and even provided some seasonal cheer for hard-pressed retailers.
Thousands of Irish people woke up yesterday to find an iPad or an Android device under the tree.
Tablets are now dominating the computer market with some retailers reporting the devices outsold the more traditional laptop by 10 to one.
Dixons, which has 527 stores in the UK and Ireland, has been boosted by a surge in demand for tablets such as the iPad.
"We were very much in the hospital ward," Sebastian James, chief executive of Dixons, said last week as it posted healthy profits. "We are now out and feeling better."
Tim Hannon, general manager for computers at Harvey Norman, said that gadgets such as Apple's iPad Air and Sony's PlayStation 4 continue to drive sales for Irish tech retailers, despite being "as rare as hens' teeth" as Christmas approached.
PC World and Compu b also reported solid pre-Christmas sales.
Specialist retailers such as Conns Cameras, also reported "healthy" pre-Christmas trade.
Irish technology retailers are now expecting bumper post-Christmas sales, as consumers seek to cash in on bargains.