Finally, a bit of sanity. Headline after headline this year has claimed that the Apple iPad is eating into netbook and notebook sales because iPad sales are up while netbook sales growth is slowing. You could also make the case that ice cream is eating into netbook sales, because as the summer dragged on, ice cream sales rose while notebook sales growth chilled, but I don’t remember reading that headline anywhere. Thing is, just because two things are true doesn’t happen to mean they’re related — you need stronger evidence to back up correlation and/or causation.

Now researchers at NPD have put out a study that actually attempts to find out what kind of niche the iPad is filling for the people who are buying them. And you know what? Only 13 percent of iPad users say they bought the Apple tablet instead of buying a PC. Nearly twice that number said they decided to pick one up instead of a dedicated eBook reader though. So if you’re going to make a claim, it might be more fair to say that the iPad is killing the Kindle and other eBook readers… except it’s not. Th ey’re still selling pretty well too.

The study also showed that iPad owners are more likely to own Apple products than the general public, which is hardly surprising. Researchers also found that the most popular iPad activities include web surfing, reading and replying to email, and playing games. While you could make the case that these are exactly the activities people use netbooks for, a Windows or Linux powered netbook also makes it easier to edit documents and perform other activities that are easiest with a physical keyboard, so I don’t think PC makers have too much to worry about — especially since the numbers seem to show that iPads are not responsible for any significant change in the netbook and notebook space right now.

Oh yeah, and while netbook sales growth may have slowed, netbook and notebook shipment numbers are still going up for the most part.

via MacRumors



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7 replies on “NPD: The iPad isn’t killing the laptop”

  1. Brad, you are in utter denial mode. Yes, the ipad is not killing the netbook but once the whole bandwagon of other tablets start coming in, the netbook is DEAD.

    Come on, once Archos 101 and Dell come out with their stuff, nobody will want the heavy monster netbook. Remember, keyword is portability. And portability means lightness.

    Tablets are 500g in weight whilst the stupid netbook is still at 1.4KGs

    1. hmm, i carry my 5lbs dell laptop along with the ipad around the campus. seriously, beside the ability to browse the web with your hand ( text and picture only), i really don’t know what else the ipad is good for.

  2. Kill is a big four-letter word. Hurt badly is maybe better. There will be folks like me who never will buy a computer without a physical keyboard (just as some people–not me–won’t buy a phone without a QUERTY keyboard). There are many markets. My wife is interested in a Kindle. She is not considering a tablet that can be an OK e-reader while also doing other things. The problem for netbooks is being nibbled at from several directions (cheap laptops, tablets, smartphones). My guess is that there will be fewer manufacturers within a couple of years, but somebody will still make and sell netbooks.

    1. Just matter of time before the tablet manufacturers come out with a foldable flat keyboard that tucks into the tablet neatly. Or one that just slides in and out.

      Then the netbook is surely dead.

      As for Windows, well people use netbooks and tablets to merely surf the net and they all have their primary super powerful machine at home to do cpu intensive stuff.

      Nowadays, nobody is OS specific. So long there is a good browser and long battery life, that is all people want.

      1. If a tablet acquires a physical keyboard, doesn’t it become a netbook? Is the clamshell design a requirement?

  3. Do I want a tablet? YES. Will I buy another notebook/netbook with a nice keyboard before that? YES!!!

    I need a computer I can take everywhere is my bag. I need it because I type. I have a two blogs, a few social sites, and a few forums I visit where to use them I need to type between 150 to 800 words. Until someone makes something faster, more accurate and easy then a keyboard with real keys… I’ll need a laptop 300 days a year for at least 8 hours a day.

    There is a reason why the keyboard as we know it, physical & tactile, is 140 years old without having changed much — it works — its cheap — it works fast. Anyone selling you the idea laptops are dead is selling you ‘shuck-n-jive’ BS.

  4. I love these posts and the ignorance that really shows up. It’s true. Brainwashing does work. Shock and awe does work. Create the appetite when the appetite really isn’t there. Brilliant! The whole tablet craze is a farse. A iPad segement, nothing more. The next gen will again make the late arrivals look even more pathetic. Get over it. iPad IS the tablet maket. /end story

    gemaster
    aka gman

Comments are closed.