The Black Friday weekend sales clearly favored Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), says Cantor Fitzgerald analyst Brian J. White. The holiday shopping season started on Thanksgiving amid intense promotional activity. A survey conducted by the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) found that consumer electronics accounted for 35% of the Black Friday weekend sales.

Apple

Popular items during Black Friday weekend

Tablets were the most popular items in the consumer electronics category. About 39% of shoppers purchased a tablet over the weekend. The Cantor Fitzgerald analyst believes that the craze for tablets is a positive sign for Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL). The Cupertino-based company recently launched the iPad Air and iPad Mini with Retina display, and slashed prices of the first generation iPad mini.

Among other consumer electronics items, 25% of consumers purchased headphones, 21% bought video game hardware, 22% bought smartphones and 25% purchased laptops/notebooks PCs. The Consumer Electronics Association survey found that consumers were less interested in LCD TVs this year.

The National Retail Federation said that intense promotions by retailers attracted footfalls. But Black Friday weekend sales this year were lower than the previous year. Six fewer days this holiday season and a sluggish economic environment compelled retailers to ramp up promotional activities. Brian J. White says that increased promotions would hamper margins. And struggling tech companies would feel the maximum pressure.

According to NRF, big promotions attracted 141 million unique shoppers this Black Friday weekend, compared to 139 million last year. But the average consumer spending was down 3.9% from $423.55 last year to $407.02 this Black Friday weekend. That sums up $57.4 billion in total spending, down 2.9% from last year’s $59.1 billion. The NRF reiterated its forecast of a 3.9% increase in total holiday sales.

Apple devices most used in online shopping

According to IBM Digital Analytics data, Thanksgiving online sales jumped 19.7% and Black Friday online sales soared 18.9% from the previous year. Smartphones accounted for 24.9% of Black Friday online traffic, while tablets made up 14.2%. But when it came to actual online sales, 14.4% of online sales came from tablets compared to just 7.2% through smartphones. Brian J. White says that smartphones are convenient for browsing, but it’s easier to place an order with a tablet.

The study also found that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s iOS devices accounted for 28.2% of total online traffic on Black Friday compared to just 11.4% for Android. As for actual sales, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s mobile devices made up 18.1% of online sales, much higher than 3.5% for Android.

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) shares were up 0.56% to $559.20 in early trading.