iPad not stopping PC sales, says analyst
Cannibalisation rate declining
The iPad is not pulling sales away from PCs, US-based market watcher NPD has claimed.
Having spoken to an unspecified - but presumably statistically significant - number of North Americans who have owned an iPad for six months or more, NPD found that only 14 per cent of them had bought the tablet in place of a netbook, notebook or desktop.
Focus on folk who got their iPad last Christmas, and the proportion falls to 12 per cent.
In short, tablet punters are, on the whole, not buying the one product in place of another.
"Overall it appears that the vast majority of iPad purchases to-date have been incremental to the consumer technology industry," said NPD research chief Stephen Baker.
Why then is there a perception that they are?
According to NPD, growth in the personal computer sales is down because the Windows 7 sales splurge is now past and so is the initial burst of netbook purchases.
If anything, says Baker, you'd expect tablets to eat into sales of cheap consumer-oriented notebooks - those under $500 (£307) in his book - but that segment experienced growth of 21 per cent for the six months ending March 2011. Sales of pricier notebooks were down 25 per cent.
We'd just suggest that it's perhaps too early to call this one. Punters may generally not have bought an iPad instead of, say, a netbook now, but the tablet purchase may dissuade them from doing so in the future.
Only by tracking demand over time will we see whether tablets are generally an additional computing tool, or a replacement for a different form-factor.
Interestingly, NPD found that US customers generally don't favour 3G iPads - in marked contrast to research from UK-based Context, which found that Europeans do like the 3G models. ®
replacing games PCs
Here though I disagree.
A games PC isn't just about the graphics speed. Its about a huge monitor, decent input devices (mouse, keyboard, joystick and (maybe) a gamepad), surround sound. Those things aren't going to appear on a tablet, because then it wouldn't be a tablet.
Another poor use of the term "Cannibalisation"
Cannibalisation is when a company's new product takes sales away from one of its existing products.
OK, yes, the dictionary does say "usually from the same company", so I suppose one could mean "it is cannibalising sales from other parts of the computing devices industry" but I would argue that is called "making sales". For isn't any sale of anything having some effect on other parts of its industry?
Anyway, save the C term for when a company is sucking its own blood, I beg you. You know, like when one of the Android tablet makers releases a slightly better one before they have even shipped their first one!
......since you can neither activate nor update your iPad without access to a Mac or a PC. When the day comes that we get the Mac OS and Win 8 on tablets - then we will be able to talk about "replacement".
I think that's a very fair comment for the present generations of tech users, however I can imagine a similar argument posted way back when GUI's first started appearing on desktops, why would you want a mouse and windows, surely having one thing at a time in a text box on a text display makes you more efficient as you aren't distracted by shiny stuff.
Not sure if things will change for future generations. My kids are under 10 and are so comfortable jumping from using a tablet device, to a keyboard and mouse on a desktop then to a laptop trackpad, it's frightening how old I feel as they tut and laugh at me, a 25 year IT veteran, trying to use a tablet the same as I use a desktop keyboard and mouse! They have learned already that each device requires a different way of working, me being a sad old git of 40 years old simply needs time to adapt, they don't.
People adapt very quickly to changing tech. 30 years ago if you said we'd have 50" TVs in our homes linked to a world-wide network of data that can shifted to pocket devices in a split-second anywhere on the planet, then up onto a home computer no bigger than a slim brief case within another split-second, you'd have been patted on the head and told it was real life not Star Trek!
I have a tablet...
It's called a Nokia smartphone. If people are seen using conventional PCs less when they're out, by far the biggest change in the last ten years for mobile computing has come in the form of handheld devices (i.e., tablets) that can also do phone calls. Nokia and now Android are the leaders here, not Apple (unless you redefine the market to only look at the Ipad, which is a circular argument).
Computers that run full OSs (like Windows, Linux) aren't going to go away though. As for netbooks, I suspect their biggest competition is ultra portable laptops (which now offer much more power, at only a slightly bigger size, and only slightly more expensive). Remember, when netbooks appeared, ultra portable laptops didn't really exist, unless you spent a lot of money.