Laptop Sales Falter. Is It the iPad Effect?
Analysts at Morgan Stanley have released a report showing the steep decline in laptop sales in recent months, and it seems the Apple iPad tablet is at least partially to blame.
The iPad has been accused of cannibalizing netbook sales , and Best Buy's CEO just recently said the iPad had cut laptop sales at his stores in half. But these numbers (see the chart above) show an industry-wide decline that doesn't have an end in sight.
To be clear, laptops are still selling, but this is the first time that sales have decreased, year over year. It's hardly surprising considering the months prior show a steady slowing of sales. Early data shows that there is still a negative 4 percent growth rate for the first week of September.
While there are a number of factors (netbooks have already been accused of hurting laptop sales), Morgan Stanley's Katy Huberty says the "tablet cannibalization" started by the Apple iPad is partially to blame.
This is only the beginning, too.
"We expect tablets to continue to pressure PCs as more vendors launch products (e.g., Dell Streak and Samsung Tab) and Apple expands its iPad distribution," Huberty said in the report.
This flood of new tablets will provide a considerable distraction, especially for those who just need a media-friendly device without the bulk or complexity of a notebook. And with the new emphasis on apps created by iPhone and Android smartphones, tablets will be much more attractive than the heavy software and operating systems running on laptops.