Before the Apple iPad was released, nobody knew what space it would compete for in the computer market. Would it replace a laptop? Would it compete as a netbook? Nobody really knew. After its April release though, it’s clear that the iPad tablet does indeed compete against, and in a significant number of cases can replace, a laptop unit.
According to March 2010 data collected by Alphawise, 44% of those buying iPad devices have decided to forgo buying a laptop as a result. Their main needs in getting a laptop were to check e-mail and to browse the web — things they can also do from an iPad.
Here’s a fancy chart showing Apple’s iPad cannabilization:
Not only has the iPad been cannibalizing laptop sales but it has also been cannibalizing netbook sales as well. The chart below shows the decline in netbook sales growth starting at the beginning of 2010. A significant amount of this decrease was rumored to be due to the upcoming release of the Apple iPad.
Now that the iPad’s out, think it’ll be able to avoid the same fate that has come of other computing products? Apple’s pretty good at innovation, so it’s very likely.
Intel CEO Paul Otellini acknowledges the growth of the netbook segment of the overall notebook market but says that, “while Atom and Netbooks are important growth drivers for us, our traditional notebook business remains one of the primary drivers of revenue growth and we expect that to continue in the future.” Otellini believes that both netbook and notebook sales will both continue to rise.
Otellini is also optimistic about sales of ultrathin laptops, relatively inexpensive alternatives that cost between $500 and $900 each and fall in the notebook category between netbooks and laptops. Various dual-core ultrathin laptops have already been released and much more will be released in time for the holiday season.