Tablet computers added to British inflation 'basket'

Tablet computers like Apple's iPad and Samsung's Galaxy Tab have been added into the basket of goods used to measure official British inflation, the Office for National Statistics said Tuesday.

Inflation is measured each month by a notional "shopping basket" filled with typical goods and services bought by the average consumer. The ONS, which tracks the prices of about 700 goods and services, updates the list annually to reflect changing tastes and trends.

"As in most years, developments in technology influence the basket update and in 2012 tablet computers -- such as the iPad and Samsung Galaxy Tab -- are being included for the first time," the ONS said in a statement.

"This mirrors the evolution of computer equipment through desktop personal computers, laptops and now tablets, and they are being introduced to capture price changes in this rapidly expanding market."

In another sign of the times, the ONS also announced that it has scrapped developing and printing colour film from the basket due to the rising popularity of digital cameras.

At the same time, bundled communication services were added to the shopping basket to reflect the way in which British consumers pay for their telephone, television and Internet packages.

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