iPad's 'Cannibalization' of Notebook Computers Disputed
Market research firm NPD has released the results of a new survey disputing the common assertion that Apple's iPad is 'cannibalizing' the PC notebook industry. According to the survey, only 13% of iPad customers made their purchase instead of buying a PC. A larger target for the iPad has been e-readers, with 24% of iPad purchasers reporting that they replaced a planned e-reader purchase with the iPad.
The survey also unsurprisingly revealed that iPad purchasers are more likely than the general population to own other Apple products, with 38% of iPad purchasers also owning an iPhone and 48% owning a Mac. The survey has, however, seen a slight dip in Mac ownership from the initial wave, moving from 50% in the first two months of availability to 45% in more recent months, indicating that the iPad's appeal seems to be broadening beyond the core base of Apple fans.
"Early adopters, like iPad owners, follow a traditional pattern of consumer behavior; they purchase products because they want them, not because they need them," said Stephen Baker, vice president of industry analysis at NPD. "However, as Apple increases iPad distribution and consumer interest peaks, the profile of an iPad owner is much more likely to mirror the overall tech population. When that does happen other tech products with similar usage profiles as the iPad, such as notebooks, netbooks, and e-readers will come under increased pressure from the iPad. Until then, however, most iPad sales are likely to be incremental additional technology devices in the home, rather than a one-for-one replacement of a planned purchase."
Best Buy CEO Brian Dunn made headlines earlier this month with his ambiguous claims that the iPad was cannibalizing sales of notebook PCs by "as much as 50%". Dunn and Best Buy quickly back-pedaled, although he and Best Buy president Mike Vitelli have continued to confuse things with their follow-up comments.
NPD's Stephen Baker has also written a blog post highlighting some results from the iPad owner survey such as what users are doing with the iPad (Internet browsing, email, and games), their likes (portability, easy Wi-Fi connections, e-reading, and apps), and their dislikes (lack of USB ports, printing, and multi-tasking).