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Display Search metrics say iPad is indeed impacting netbook sales
      #38657 - 09/30/10 02:47 PM

Display Search has just released their latest report of sales in the netbook, mini-notebook and tablet space. It's no surprise that they found the iPad is selling well while netbook sales are slowing down in established markets like the US. Lots of folks here have a netbook already, and don't need another. But it seems that everyone wants an iPad and the only things that may be holding them back are price and limited availability. Here's what they found:

In the second quarter of 2010, shipments of mini-notebook/netbook/tablet PCs were down 4percent Q/Q, but up 29 percent Y/Y. However, without the 3.3 million iPads shipped in the quarter, shipments of mini-note/netbook/tablet PCs would have been down 14 percent Q/Q and 13 percent Y/Y. Clearly, there was an "iPad Effect" in the portable PC market, according to a new DisplaySearch report, the Quarterly Advanced Notebook PC Shipment and Forecast Report, which also tracks tablet PCs 5.0" and larger. The effect might have been even more pronounced, but Apple struggled to fill demand, with shipment times listed as 7-10 business days for all of Q2'10, and shipments into Japan and China were just beginning at the end of the period.

Overall, the portable PC market posted strong Y/Y unit growth in Q2'10, surging 32% to 50.4M units. However, not all market segments were equal, and it is apparent that the combination of iPads and falling prices took share from other parts of the mini-note/tablet PCs segment and from the ultraportable segments of the market. Buyers chose iPad as a thin, lightweight device but buyers seeking more functionality chose larger notebooks, with only slightly higher prices. The price gap between the average 11.6" ultraportable notebook and the average 15.6" portable notebook PC fell to less than US$60 in Q2'10.

Revenue in the mini-note/netbook/tablet PC category was also positively impacted by the higher price of the iPad. Despite the Q/Q drop in unit volume for the category, revenues surged past US$4 billion as ASPs increased 21% Q/Q and 14% Y/Y.

DisplaySearch expects mini-notes to continue to sell well in emerging economies to first-time PC buyers. However, looking forward, we expect tablets like the iPad will continue to take market share from mini-notes and the ultraportable segment in regions where PCs have high penetration rates. The industry consensus is that a successful business model for tablets will center around an a la carte method for selecting the software capabilities (apps) for the device and content consumption (though the ability to create some content will certainly be possible), as opposed to the typical PC market trend that is built upon a Windows operating system and office suite applications for content creation.


Lisa Gade
Editor in Chief, MobileTechReview

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