Monday, June 21, 2010

Tablets to eat Netbooks - well it's a good theory and we'll soon know

Apple is last to market with a Tablet PC but it leverages the iPod/iPhone sheen so well that it appears a game-changer. So much so that the previous Tablet makers will have to revamp and match or beat the iPad. And then of course the imitators will also jump on the bandwagon. Add all of this up and it's a big number - so where do all of these buyers come from?

We could guess that they are virgin buyers who would never have bought a similar product. That may be 20% of the sales, or perhaps more?

There could also be buyers who were umming and ahhing about a Kindle-like reader but have been seduced up market. Another 20%?

We could also assume that they were people about to update from something else, perhaps something more powerful but over-powered for their needs. That's not uncommon as most people are realising that even "standard" PCs really do far more than they truly need. Let's say that's 20% as well.

Well that's maybe 60% accounted for already. Indeed if anecdotal evidence is anything to go by (and it usually isn't) it's probably way higher than that as a lot of sales are going to Apple-freaks who would never buy anything else anyway, let alone something as dull and practical as a typical Netbook. 

So of the 40% left - or less, perhaps far less - we may be looking at potential Netbook users who just decided that slick and funky beats practical and cheap. But if they only buy what they need at the price point they want to buy at then the iPad and other tablets will not get those sales - not yet, anyway. Still, it does mean that there are some sales coming out of somewhere, doesn't it? But perhaps not from where we imagine. Time will tell.  

PC Netbook Market Set To Crash Say Experts - Channel News
In a recent report DisplaySearch said that during the first quarter, Apple shipped 700,000 iPads, comprising about 6.5 percent of the 10.15 million units shipped in the netbook/slate notebook sub-category. In addition, Apple has reported shipping 2 million iPads during just the first two months of the second quarter, which DisplaySearch estimates will give Apple about 30 percent of the market for that period.

DisplaySearch said that as additional non-Apple slates are rolled out later this year, the traditional clamshell netbook could continue to lose share.

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