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  • Is the iPad Eating the Netbook Market?


    A new report by Morgan Stanley suggests that the Apple iPad has "cannibalized" netbook sales... and started doing so before it even went on sale. Though this is the outcome predicted by Steve Jobs - who claimed that netbooks "aren't better than anything" - the report also shows that the iPad may also negatively impact notebook and desktop sales as well.

    Analyst Katy Huberty of Morgan Stanley released a report to her clients on Thursday looking into the potential impact of HP's acquisition of Palm. What drew the most attention, though, was her assertion that the iPad was eating into the US market for netbooks, though notebooks and desktop computers, as well as handheld game devices were also "candidates for cannabilization." According to data in the report from a survey done by Morgan Stanley and Alphawise, netbook growth dropped precipitously from record highs in July 2009, when growth was clocked at a staggering 641% compared to July 2008. The rate of growth slowed dramatically to 68% in January from 179% in December 2009, and kept falling sharply. By April of this year, netbook sales were just 5% more than they were the same month a year ago.

    Pundits began picking the report apart almost immediately. Many pointed out that 5% growth is still growth, and that the rate of sales increases was bound to decline after such red-hot growth as was experienced last year, and as most of the people who wanted a netbook already had one. Others made the simple point that sales always tend to slow after the Christmas season, and that the decline started before Apple even acknowledged that there was such a thing as an iPad (though many of us remember the hype that proceeded the official announcement). In the survey, moreover, she mixed notebooks and netbooks into the same category.

    What the report seemed to show more clearly is that the iPad may really cut into notebook sales, with 44 percent saying they would buy an iPad over a notebook. 24 percent would not buy a MacBook, while 20 percent would not purchase a PC notebook. Even more interesting is that 27 percent of iPad users would use the tablet instead of a desktop, with 14 percent saying they had decided not to buy a Mac desktop they had been considering, and the other 13 percent saying they'd used the iPad instead of a PC.

    There are a number of people out there - my mom is one of them - who have no need for a general-purpose computer. They read their email and browse the net. Maybe they play games, watch videos or read books. They don't need the complexity of a "real" computer, and for them, an unjailbroken iPad is probably just about perfect. So the report may be premature, and possibly a little misleading, but it's hard to say it's all wrong.
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Is the iPad Eating the Netbook Market? started by Paul Daniel Ash View original post
    Comments 33 Comments
    1. vantheman169's Avatar
      vantheman169 -
      If the iPad could do the same things as my macbook pro can, i would buy one. OSX on ipad..until then or the prices drop...BLOW ME
    1. Success.Is.Sweet's Avatar
      Success.Is.Sweet -
      Her reports are premature and unsupported.

      Netbooks? Ha! iPads will replace desktop PCs - Computerworld

      The iPad is basically for browsing the internet and checking email at the MOST. It cannot replace a computer, and isn't marketed to do so. Furthermore, netbook sales have dropped more so because of sub $500 notebooks coming into play. As technology advances, netbook sales are still increasing, just not as much as they did when they got really popular around the beginning of last year.
    1. tudtran's Avatar
      tudtran -
      Apple really shock everybody with the iPad
    1. rickybobby's Avatar
      rickybobby -
      Ok the ipad is nice its starting to grow on me. But here is the thing before you believe all these bogus reports, remember it has no usb ports,webcam,low storage,and no flash. In my book thats not a winner to me.
    1. RonHC's Avatar
      RonHC -
      ..only gonna buy an iPad if it is for $199-$299
    1. reeko's Avatar
      reeko -
      My iPad wouldn't be half as good if I didn't have my MacBook and handbrake to convert my newly downloaded, unreleased facejacker and south park episodes to iPad format.

      Once my iPad can run a torrent client and convert the downloaded torrents toa compatible iPad format I will keep my MacBook, happily.

      The onlt thing my iPad has done is kept me away from my iPhone. I'm seriously considering getting a crappy little nokia as my next phone and pocketing the 500 for my unlocked 32gb 3GS

      I meant once my iPad can do that I'll lose the MacBook .....
    1. reznor9's Avatar
      reznor9 -
      I have a MacBook. Used it like crazy. All the time. Every day.
      Now I have an iPad.
      My MacBook has not Been used since April 3rd...
    1. adrian1480's Avatar
      adrian1480 -
      no, it won't canabalize netbooks.

      my mother just bought a netbook over an iPad. reason was simple: the netbook was $260.00 USD. And that really always was the point of netbooks: cheap, simple laptops that can do core things well enough to be suitable for easy travel and typically with good battery life...all without changing how you use computers.

      iPad is a cool toy and I love mine...but many people looking for netbooks wouldn't be able to substitute a netbook (running MS Office 2010, Firefox with all extensions, normal printing, PDF viewing, e-mail, multitasking, etc. out of the box) for an iPad (primarily a consumption toy that's fun to play with but can be difficult to do real business with). It's just not as practical as a netbook for that, by design.

      but if Microsoft releases an iPad app and Apple slaps 512MB+ of memory in it (right now, just 256MB) my opinion could change.
    1. eZStaR's Avatar
      eZStaR -
      Before masses of people were just saying iPad is just huge itouch and no use for it. Now it has supposedly "cannibalized" the netbook sales.
      How ironic.

      And remember guys, iPad is capable of many things. Soon maybe hackers can hack a windows OS or a mac OS on the iPad, idk.
    1. whereswaldo's Avatar
      whereswaldo -
      is anyone actually surprised?
    1. iPhone3G[S]'s Avatar
      iPhone3G[S] -
      Quote Originally Posted by vantheman169 View Post
      If the iPad could do the same things as my macbook pro can, i would buy one. OSX on ipad..until then or the prices drop...BLOW ME
      and then everyone would stop calling it a giant ipod and call it a keyboardless macbook...

      Complainers no matter what you do..
    1. awesomeSlayer's Avatar
      awesomeSlayer -
      Netbooks are now bleeding in sales...what's next? Shoes?
    1. dray's Avatar
      dray -
      The Jailbroken iPad is a whole new ballgame people...can't wait to receive mine.
    1. dsg's Avatar
      dsg -
      This is just early statistic of a new product nothing conclusive can be formed form any figures around at the moment, It hasn't even hit europe/rest of the world yet!
    1. lolcats1's Avatar
      lolcats1 -
      This whole thing is flawed from the start.

      Macbook is not a netbook. Lol
    1. Luppin's Avatar
      Luppin -
      So basically what this article is saying is "There"s at least 4 legitamite reasons why netbook sales are falling, and there's observable data to prove this, BUT NO, THE IPAD THAT WAS RELEASED AFTER ALREADY DECLINING SALES IS WHAT STARTED THE DECLINE IN THE FIRST PLACE I SWEAR" sure is unbiased reporting around here.
    1. severe's Avatar
      severe -
      Quote Originally Posted by reznor9 View Post
      I have a MacBook. Used it like crazy. All the time. Every day.
      Now I have an iPad.
      My MacBook has not Been used since April 3rd...
      While this is great and all. And, seriously, I think the iPad is pretty awesome. You clearly were not utilizing your MacBook for much other than browsing the web. Or if you were, you'll soon be running back to the MacBook to get some more serious computing done.

      I would have surely chosen an iPad instead of the Dell mini I recently purchased, if it could have run CS5 and some decent accounting software. So I've settled on said mini, with OSX installed, as a sort of satellite to my Mac Pro at home. It's perfect for me, but unfortunately something the iPad just couldn't accomplish.
    1. sziklassy's Avatar
      sziklassy -
      Quote Originally Posted by Luppin View Post
      So basically what this article is saying is "There"s at least 4 legitamite reasons why netbook sales are falling, and there's observable data to prove this, BUT NO, THE IPAD THAT WAS RELEASED AFTER ALREADY DECLINING SALES IS WHAT STARTED THE DECLINE IN THE FIRST PLACE I SWEAR" sure is unbiased reporting around here.
      Haven't you gotten used to this yet?
    1. StealthBravo's Avatar
      StealthBravo -
      To all the complainers:

      Do us all a favor and don't even open the news section anymore. When 90% of your posts are just knocking the writers and this site, why bother being a member? I don't have a problem with criticism and disagreements with an article but when you disagree with all of them, it seems like you are just asking to be annoyed.
    1. cpkirkley's Avatar
      cpkirkley -
      I get what hes saying, but i just don't see how an iPad would replace any of my devices.