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Clamshell dinner – Jobs and iPad munch netbook sales

Two months, two million iPads sold

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Yes, the iPad will munch the netbook market, according to research firm DisplaySearch.

With a new report released on Tuesday, DisplaySearch says that Apple shipped 700,000 iPads into the channel during Q1, accounting for 6.5 per cent of the combined netbook-tablet market by volume, and in Q2, the firm says, that share will rise to 30 per cent.

In the first two months of Q2, according to the report, Apple sold over 2 million Flash-less tablets, and DisplaySearch expects that as additional slates are launched — including Android models — the clamshell-style netbook or mini-note PC "could continue to lose share."

"The last quarter of 2007 heralded the birth of the mini-note PC (netbook)," reads a canned statement from John F. Jacobs, director of notebook market research for display search. "Q1’10 signaled the birth of the slate PC, and possibly by extension, the beginning of the end of the mini-note PC (netbook).

"Apple has ported their successful iPhone app business model to the iPad. Android-based phones followed in their footsteps and will surely do the same with slates. The result will be that buyers of slates will be able to take advantage of this a la carte software model, adding only the functionality they want on their devices."

In the first quarter, netbooks were still on the rise. The iPad didn't debut until the first day of April — the beginning of Q2 — and in Q1, the combined netbook-slate market grew 56.4 per cent to $3.51 million. Netbook growth was particularly strong in Latin America and the Asia-Pacific region, and growth continued in China and North America.

But Steve Jobs has already turned the tide. One wonders what this will mean for Google Chrome OS, which debuts on clam-shell netbooks this fall — with an inability to run local applications. We expect that Mountain View's all-browser, all-the-time OS will scale the heights previously reached by the, um, Nexus One Googlephone. ®

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