Is the iPad cannibalizing notebook and netbook sales? Yes, but not as much as you may have heard. Yesterday, Brian Dunn, the CEO of Best Buy, said in a Wall Street Journal article that the iPad had taken away 50 percent of his company’s notebook business, and a Morgan Stanley report showed that notebook sales had also taken a hit, partially due to the iPad.
However, iPads cannibalization is closer to 15 percent, according to Stephen Baker, vice president of industry analysis for NPD. “We see a rush of early adopters and the curious buying an incremental device that they wouldn’t have bought otherwise because it’s cool,” says Baker, “not because [they said] “Oh, I was going to buy a notebook, and now I’m going to buy an iPad.”
While the Morgan Stanley report is based on NPD figures, Baker said that ignores the fact that for the last two years, notebook sales have been up between 15 and 30 percent, “and sales don’t always go up.”
“Just because sales are going down the same time iPad sales are out there doesn’t mean that there is this huge replacement right now of iPads by computers.” Still, given the fact that the iPad has been out less than a year, the mid teens is nothing to sneeze at, and it will be interesting to see how this cannibalization number grows as more tablets hit the market this holiday and beyond.
Here’s the chart from the Morgan Stanley/NPD report: