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Netbook boom could be over, iPad to blame?



Fortune Tech at presents data from Katy Hubert of investment firm Morgan Stanley to illustrate how growth in the netbook market has severely declined. Paired with a chart showing what products people are skipping in favor of the iPad, it looks like the iPad is “gobbling up” netbook sales… maybe.

Their first chart alone is pretty convincing. Fall of last year saw netbook growth accelerate 500-600%, no doubt the result of back-to-school netbooks. Growth rate declined considerably after that, but still in the 100-300% range. But then January hit and netbook growth acceleration dropped to 68% and steadily declined to 5% in April. Perhaps not coincidentally, the iPad was announced in January and released last month.


The second chart here shows what people are not buying in order to get an iPad. Top of the list is notebook/netbook at 44%. So, that proves the iPad is crushing netbook sales? Not really. The chart actually shows 24% are skipping Apple notebooks, while only 20% are skipping non-Apple notebooks, of which netbooks is an undetermined part of the whole. Regardless, the chart shows Macbooks are facing a greater threat of losing sales to the iPad than netbooks are, and we know Macbooks didn’t take a hit last quarter. Thus, while I think it’s fair to say the iPad is taking a bite out of netbook sales, this data does not convincingly demonstrate it is driving the decline in growth.

Also interesting is that the iPod touch is next on the chart with 41% skipping it for the iPad. No surprise given the iPad is basically a bigger iPod touch, and good news for Apple since the iPad is a higher ticket item. And while it looks like they will see some Mac sales being diverted to the iPad, the chart indicates they’ll draw sales away from PCs at a similar rate, so they’re looking at an overall net positive.

Via Business Insider




    05/06/2010 at 8:35 am

    i think it was pointed out in the fortunes comments that the january dip could be a natural effect of the x-mas shopping ending.

    makes sense in a way. Buy netbooks either for start of school, or as a gift during said season of giving.

  2. Tai-Pan

    05/10/2010 at 3:00 am

    Or… it could get worse as companies like Asus realize they can make more margin (on lower cost BOM) ARM based tablets than they can shifting netbooks…

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