Tablet cannabalisation of netbooks is a myth

Analyst outfit NPD has told the world to ignore the spin about tablets killing the PC market.

While some analyst firms claim that Steve Job’s iPad is killing the PC, NPD said the argument is rubbish.

NPD’s Stephen Baker disagrees, saying that the rate of cannibalisation has actually dropped in recent months which would not happen if they were being replaced by tablets.  If people want a netbook with a keyboard they can and will buying them. Those who fall for the idea that it is better to buy a netbook without a keyboard are also buying them anyway.

His report, with the catchy title “Apple iPad Owner Study II” found that only 14 percent of early iPad buyers chose an iPad instead of a PC. And over the recent holiday season, that number dropped to 12 percent.

The report claims that cannibalisation of netbooks by the iPad has dropped 50 percent with recent iPad buyers when compared to earlier adopters.

iPad purchases to-date, by a large majority, have been incremental to the consumer technology industry, Baker said.

When Windows 7 went on sale in 2009, Netbook sales had been surging for months. Since the iPad’s appearance it has been the higher-priced notebooks more than their less-expensive netbooks that suffered.

NPD’s Retail Tracking Service found that sales of notebooks under $500 actually grew by 21 percent over the six months that ended in March.

The idea that tablet sales are eating into low-priced notebooks is incorrect. It is the over $500 Windows consumer notebook market where PC sales have been impacted the most, the report claims, with a 25 percent decline from October 2010 to March 2011.