By Philip Elmer-DeWitt
December 14, 2012

FORTUNE — Consumer preferences in one of this holiday’s hottest categories — tablet computers — shifted pretty dramatically between the third and fourth quarters, according to a new survey of U.S. households with broadband access published Thursday by Parks Associates.

Among its findings:

  • For the first time, more U.S. broadband households plan to purchase a tablet for the holidays than a laptop, netbook or Ultrabook.
  • 33% of U.S.  broadband households now own a tablet, up from 15% last year, and Parks forecasts 66% of U.S. broadband households will have one by 2013.
  • 44% of holiday tablet shoppers plan to purchase an Apple (AAPL) iPad versus the 24% opting for Amazon’s (AMZN) Kindle Fire.
  • When presented with option of buying an iPad mini, 40% of those who had said planned to buy an iPad changed their minds and opted for the mini.
  • 12% said they planned to buy a Google (GOOG) Nexus and 21% a Microsoft (MSFT) Surface.

“Apple continues to gain strength in key product categories,” said Parks’ John Barrett in a press release, adding that “The iPad mini launch could cannibalize some iPad sales.”

The most dramatic shift, however, was the fall-off in potential Surface buyers.

“Consumers initially expressed interest in the Microsoft Surface,” Barett said, “but once pricing and product details were announced, holiday intentions to purchase a Microsoft Surface dropped to 21% in Q4 from 45% in Q3.”

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