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The Numbers Game Continues to Show iPad Disruption



With a lot of folks salivating over the Samsung Galaxy Tab and other potential iPad competitors, even with recent statements by Google that this first wave of competing products will be running and Android OS not optimized for Tablet goodness, the numbers game seems to point to openings for those wanting to ride the Tablet/Slate wave.

You’ve already been hearing this from many sources. A recent NPD Morgan Stanley report pointed towards a decline in Notebook sales and Best Buy’s CEO is saying that the iPad is “cannibalizing” those same sales. It’s no wonder we’re hearing that Best Buy is planning on selling iPads in all of its stores this holiday season and not just the stores with other Apple products. And of course Best Buy is moving to have other Tablet/Slates on its shelves as well.

So much of the focus of all the current analysis is on the iPad as the cause of this, and much of that is more than deserved. But I think it is also due to two other factors as well. The economic downturn knocked a hole in many wallets, and let’s face it Notebook and Netbook innovation has only been incremental at best.

Let’s face it, Apple, Samsung and others as well as retailers are hoping that there are going to be lots of Tablets and Slates under Christmas trees this December. There’s no word yet on how wide of a net Samsung’s will cast for its Galaxy Tab, though I imagine we will see it everywhere given the deals with all four us carriers announced last night. That said, Samsung threw a curve that says in the US the Galaxy Tab will not have voice capability. Who knows what that means for the carriers and their contract plans. I know folks like to give gifts that give all year long, but I don’t think they want to give new contracts to those who might already have one with a carrier that forces the giftee to pay more all year long. It could be appealing but who knows. The question still remains how much choice will there be this December and is that choice going to be enough? Or are we just looking at a preview of 2011?

Crazy times, but I’m guessing they will just get more so.



  1. JM

    09/18/2010 at 10:21 am

    While the numbers are low in laptop and netbook sales, has it occurred to anyone that maybe, just maybe people are hanging on to their current productivity models because a)the economy is in the tank and b)might want a product that will work more universally with their existing software? (aka Microsoft office). What a lot of techies and bloggers don’t seem to understand is that a huge portion of users currently on a Windows system for work, aren’t willing to relearn new technology. Or may not even be able to switch due to company software requirements.
    I myself have been waiting for a tablet that can do the same thing as my Lenovo x201 without the keyboard, while maintaining the stylus. There are a growing number of workers who conduct business on-the-go. While the capacitive stylus can do for some instances, they in no way compare to a Wacom stylus. I give the iPad credit for coming a long way in a short time (especially with the upgrades coming to it), but there are som many thousands of software programs I currently use on my laptop that I cannot use on hte iPad; especially graphic design software.
    I can’t speak for everyone, but I sure know that all of the realtors that I work with are waiting for a Windows based system that will work with all of our current realtor MLS software and integrated systems, and still write, sign, fax and receive faxes on one system. Unfortunately, the tablet that can do that hasn’t come out yet. Until then…for my profession, they are just novelty toys.

  2. ChrisRS

    09/18/2010 at 1:29 pm

    Wants … Needs … Economy … Timing … PEN

    Sometimes we want something; sometimes we need something; sometimes the state of the economy helps us tell the difference.

    1. Laptops/Notebooks cannibalized desktop computer sales when performance became great enough and the cost differential became low enough that the want for a laptop/notebook instead of a desk top became a need.

    2. Netbooks cannibalized Laptop/Notebook sales for consumers that accepted a low cost computer with a diminished performance level. They wanted a computer that was too costly but they needed a netbook that was affordable. (Power users do not fall in this category.)

    3. For those that valued extreme portability, a companion device became a need. Since both netbooks and the eiPad meet this need, the iPad cannibalized netbook sales. There are people that the iPad is the better choice for.

    4. There is a large segment of the market, for which some sort of tablet is a want. Maybe the iPad, maybe “something else”. Right now “something else” is largely in a holding pattern. Android is available in a number of flavors, but “not ready for tablets.” Almost everything else is to released “soon” or “sometime.” Right now there are many consumers on the sidelines waiting; they want something, but are willing to wait because they do not need it. When these new machines are released, there will be a pent up demand that starts choosing and purchasing. Consumers wants will become needs IF the right computer surfaces.

    The iPad cannibalized some sales but influenced the market even more by turning a lot of potential purchasers into “waiters.”

    When the flury of new tablet hits the market, there will be another bump, in the road. People will have to chose an operating system. The iPnoe iPad market is established, but when an updated iPad is released version conflicts may becoma a problem. Andoid is open source but the market place is not (???) Android versions, an unknown upgrade path for apps, totally unknown upgrade policy and support of teh various manufactuers. mutilpe marketplaces, etc. will confuse and consumers and maybe cause them to wait even longer.

    We all “KNOW” that Win 7 is too bulky for these tablets (Just like we “KNEW” that netbooks only sold because they were UNIX based and thus cheaper – UNTILL Windows took over.) It would be foolish to rule out Win 7 though, Users will want productivity software that they are familiar with. (If these are companion devices the software use may be free.). Programmers will have a stable know sevelopment enviornment to work with.

    The iPad may be driving a Tablet revolution, but driving it where? Untill there are some answers, and new devices, and more answers, consumers may stay by the side of the reoad.

    And as always, if you do not see a pen, it fails.

    • JM

      09/18/2010 at 11:07 pm

      I agree with a lot fo wha tyou mention. Sadly, if iPad and a number of the upcoming non Windows based tablets were coming out with a dual capacitive screen with Wacom enabled pen/stylus…I’d find a way around a non-Windows device. But the current capacitive stylii are lacking. But hey, that could change…it’s just a question of when. My guess is that once a powerful Windows based device with a pen comes out (other than Motion Computing, Scribbler, etc. with 3 hours of battery life)…developers will figure out a way to make a competitive capacitive stylus. I never thought all of hte prototypes from CES last year would take this long to come to market.

  3. Endgame26

    09/18/2010 at 7:53 pm

    Here is the best value competitor and he is straight outta china for ya:

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