FORTUNE -- More than one TV viewer tuning in to CNN Friday morning for House Speaker John Boehner's grim press conference was surprised to see it punctuated with a new, cheery, Christmas-themed Apple (AAPL) ad.
The spot, which has since gone into prime-time rotation, features a young girl with large hands and surprisingly accomplished ukulele skills serenading her grand-dad with a sprightly rendition of Bing Crosby's "I'll Be Home for Christmas" -- beamed via FaceTime from one white iPad to another.
By the end of the song, of course, we learn that Grandpa won't be seeing his granddaughter for Christmas after all.
And judging from the Speaker's remarks, we're not likely to see a solution to Congress's self-inflicted fiscal crisis, either.
The spot has been posted on Apple's YouTube account and copied below.
This year 48% want an iPad, up from 31% in 2010 and 44% in 2011
FORTUNE -- Nielsen released the results of its annual "iHoliday" survey of U.S. children's Christmas wish lists Tuesday, and once again Apple (AAPL) dominated four of the five top spots (see Nielsen graphic below).
What interested us was that despite increased competition in both the tablet and smartphone markets, the kids' attraction to the Apple brand has MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Nov 21, 2012 9:14 AM ET
If you count the iPad and iPod touch, it looks like iOS by about 1.6 million units
Without a press release from Apple (AAPL) crowing about their Christmas sales, we're forced to rely on data from a mobile analytics firm and tweets from a Google (GOOG) senior vice president to make some rough guesses.
Here's what we know:
According to Flurry Analytics -- which claims it can detect "roughly 100%" of all new smartphone and tablet MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Dec 28, 2011 7:24 AM ET
An analytical gap big enough to drive a sleigh through
Here are a pair of headline shockers:
AppleInsider: iOS dominates mobile shopping with 92% of market
Forbes: iOS Took 13.4% of Online Sales on Christmas Day
Both stories got pretty big play over the Christmas break. But they can't both be right, can they? Let's look at the facts.
The 92% figure comes from a Dec. 21 report by a San Francisco-base company called RichRelevance MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Dec 27, 2011 6:41 AM ET
Would that Apple's intelligent assistant were as reliable as its Christmas TV ad suggests
Apple (AAPL) has been pushing Siri hard as the key selling point for the iPhone 4S, especially on TV with ads like the Santa spot it began airing this week. (It's also available on YouTube.)
But our experience is that between system outages, misunderstandings and the basic limitations of its knowledge base, Siri is considerably less reliable than MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Dec 20, 2011 7:21 AM ET
A spot check of retail sales a week before Christmas raises an interesting question
In a note to clients issued Monday, Hudson Square Research's Daniel Ernst reported on the results of a pre-holiday scouting trip he took to retail stores in New York and Connecticut over the weekend -- only a handful of shopping days before Christmas -- where he found "floor traffic up materially, but lines at checkout short."
Demand for MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Dec 19, 2011 10:25 AM ET
Some of them are painfully out of tune, but it's for a good cause
Ignited, a high-tech advertising agency with offices in Los Angeles and New York, has come up with a clever holiday promotion. It will donate 5 cents (up to $2,500) to the Los Angeles Mission every time this YouTube video is viewed.
As of Friday morning, it had raised $1,282.55.
Ignited's clients include NBC, Sony and the NFL, but not MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Dec 16, 2011 7:10 AM ET
The carrier will add an estimated 1.2 million new accounts, more than double AT&T's
"Santa's Sleigh Needs More Room for iPhones." That was the headline on a note to clients Thursday by Mark Moskowitz, who follows Apple (AAPL) for J.P. Morgan. Moskowitz was upping his iPhone sales estimate for the current quarter from 25.3 million to (a still relatively conservative) 28 million.
"Christmas Is Coming Early for Verizon" could have been the MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Dec 4, 2011 6:45 AM ET
Only "money" and "clothes" scored higher in an annual pre-holiday survey
For 22 years, Piper Jaffray researchers have been asking American teenagers what they want for Christmas, and for the past four years Apple (AAPL) products have been moving steadily up the wish lists.
All told, according to a note to clients issued Monday by senior research analyst Gene Munster, 11.2% of the 5,700 teenagers surveyed this fall named one Apple product MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Nov 28, 2011 6:29 AM ET
The iPod touch (30%) and iPhone (27%) came in second and third in the 2011 wish list
Apple's (AAPL) iPad topped a new Nielsen survey of the most desired electronics products among young Americans this holiday season.
Among kids 6-12, Apple scored a hat trick, with the iPad (44%) first, the iPod touch (30%) second and the iPhone (27%) third.
In a similar survey last year, the iPad came in first at 31% and MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Nov 17, 2011 1:12 PM ET
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