If you had little doubt what the most sought-after gadget was over the Thanksgiving break, the stats shows that tablets were the hottest ticket in town. Both online and in-store sales were through the roof as people seem hooked on tablets.

No Time for Chill Pills

Despite reports of the odd pepper-spraying and much over-exuberance in the stores, Black Friday and its younger cousin Cyber Monday seem to be doing the business for the tech giants with ComScore estimating that sales hit US$ 816 million on Friday, up 26% on the previous year.

Early estimates suggest that Cyber Monday sales could break through the $1 billion barrier, as people get serious about shopping for Christmas. Web traffic is up around 35% and activity among online retailers and bargain finding sites is hitting record levels.

A Tale of Two Tablets

Amazon's Kindle Fire tablet sat proudly at the top of Amazon's sales chart as the selling season got off to a frisky start, with high Amazon device sales in brick-and-mortar stores like Target as well as online.That should see Amazon pick up an early repayment for its low-price high-content strategy, and see it well-placed to challenge Apple's iPad dominance.

Apple's one-day only set of discounts against iPads, iPods and Macs saw its online and retail stores doing brisk business, with sales reckoned to be over four times that of a typical day, and the company celebrated its busiest sales day ever.

UPDATE: According to Goldman Sachs, reporting on Target's sales, the Kindle Fire outsold the iPad. Perhaps not surprising considering the price difference, which is allowing some buyers to get one for themselves and one as a present.

Other tablet sellers will be hoping to have picked up some business, perhaps because more desirable items were sold out, but we wait to see how the likes of Samsung, BlackBerry and others have fared. BlackBerry got a boost when Best Buy announced it had sold out of PlayBook tablets, not discontinued them as some reports say.

Welcome, Cyber Monday

Many online stores are ramping up big discounts for Cyber Monday including Barnes and Noble offering gift vouchers alongside its Nook devices. Amazon seems to be turning up the percentage-off numbers on its sales, while most other stores are wading into the action.

While Black Friday activity was brisk around the world, with Amazon.co.uk and others many joining in the fun, Cyber Monday promises to be a truly global affair, harnessing the seasonal selling frenzy into neatly arranged timeslots.