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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. ginc's Avatar
      ginc -
      Just because Steve Jobs says something doesn't mean that the whole world should/will believe him except for some (illogical) mac fans who think ipad is better than netbook/macbook/pc. I cannot stop lol...

      I am a mac fan too, but I have brains as well...

      Buy your pads you all (illogical) mac fans; You really need it...
    1. sziklassy's Avatar
      sziklassy -
      Quote Originally Posted by StealthBravo View Post
      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.
      Plenty of people come to this site just for the news. When the news is written like @$$ (be it biased, poorly worded, not the whole truth, etc.) people will speak out. Some of your best critics are people who speak up only when they see a problem. If it is happening 90% of the time, consider that 10% of what is being written is actually legitimately GOOD! For what it's worth, I am sure the same thing happens (in the form of written and over the phone complaints) with giant newspapers. The difference is, their quality control, along with their budget, is much higher (not a knock, just a simple fact).
    1. CaptainChaos's Avatar
      CaptainChaos -
      The decline started before the ipad even existed. I am sure that some people weighed in on netbook vs ipad and bought the ipad. Just as some went the opposite direction. The ipad is not functional enough to compete with the worst netbook out there. People know this.
    1. severe's Avatar
      severe -
      Quote Originally Posted by ginc View Post
      Just because Steve Jobs says something doesn't mean that the whole world should/will believe him except for some (illogical) mac fans who think ipad is better than netbook/macbook/pc. I cannot stop lol...

      I am a mac fan too, but I have brains as well...

      Buy your pads you all (illogical) mac fans; You really need it...
      Who said the iPad was better than any of those things you've mentioned? I've not heard that claim. And I've read a ton online.

      Are you confusing the "The best way to experience the web" claim as the "ipad is better than netbook/macbook/pc"?

      That's quite a stretch, dood.


      BTW, the iPad is not a Mac.
    1. Kroo's Avatar
      Kroo -
      Good healthy debate is fine, and the to and fro is what I enjoy, but whacking the columnist isn't fair. Anyone can have an opinion, we all have one. Dissecting the figures is different to reporting facts. We can interpret figures differently, but who's to say what impact the iPad will have, in my opinion (and it is just that), not that much as it is right now. But if it was opened up to be fully functional with a healthy drive attached, then we can compare. Argue the facts but show some respect to those who actually do the research unlike many posters here who fly into a hate filled rant because someone dared to enjoy anything Apple. God forbid, this is an Apple forum. Just because you disagree doesn't mean you have a right to attack, unless you have facts to back up your argument. So to the trolls (you know who you are) pull your heads in and lets have some informed, factual debate. A forum is supposed to be a place for the exchange of ideas, information and opinion.
    1. XAPHAIS's Avatar
      XAPHAIS -
      If I had another $6000.00 to spend on a 500GB SSD for an iPad I may consider getting one. Until then Seagate + MBP = Cherry.

      Plus the fact I need to use photoshop....
    1. Luppin's Avatar
      Luppin -
      Quote Originally Posted by StealthBravo View Post
      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. Success.Is.Sweet's Avatar
      Success.Is.Sweet -
      Quote Originally Posted by StealthBravo View Post
      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.
      Change the "news" section to "opinion" and it'll be more accurate. Taking already extremely biased reporting and putting an even more biased twist on it is not news.
    1. cpkirkley's Avatar
      cpkirkley -
      Quote Originally Posted by Kroo View Post
      Good healthy debate is fine, and the to and fro is what I enjoy, but whacking the columnist isn't fair. Anyone can have an opinion, we all have one. Dissecting the figures is different to reporting facts. We can interpret figures differently, but who's to say what impact the iPad will have, in my opinion (and it is just that), not that much as it is right now. But if it was opened up to be fully functional with a healthy drive attached, then we can compare. Argue the facts but show some respect to those who actually do the research unlike many posters here who fly into a hate filled rant because someone dared to enjoy anything Apple. God forbid, this is an Apple forum. Just because you disagree doesn't mean you have a right to attack, unless you have facts to back up your argument. So to the trolls (you know who you are) pull your heads in and lets have some informed, factual debate. A forum is supposed to be a place for the exchange of ideas, information and opinion.
      If its news, its not supposed to be opinionated.
    1. rhekt's Avatar
      rhekt -
      of course it is
    1. carolinamic's Avatar
      carolinamic -
      I think this report is a little pre mature also. Besides a couple of people I know that purchased an ipad when they first cameout, I personally don't know any 1 with one. Or for that matter talking about buying an ipad.
    1. redcard's Avatar
      redcard -
      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
      Yeah. You would also buy songs if they were 50c, you would buy movies if they were 99c. Everything is too expensive.

      Then they reduce the prices to 50c and you would only pay 25c, right?

      Why would you want a less powerful Macbook without a keyboard? Strange.
    1. CaptainChaos's Avatar
      CaptainChaos -
      Quote Originally Posted by cpkirkley View Post
      If its news, its not supposed to be opinionated.
      So you don't watch Fox or CNN I take it? Heh