There has been a lot of chatter about how the iPad killed the netbook. According to a new survey from the NPD Group, most iPad buyers never intended to buy a netbook in the first place. According to the report only 14% of early iPad adopters (iPad owners of six months or more) abandoned a PC purchase for an iPad, and that dropped to just 12% of iPad owners who purchased over the past holiday season. Cannibalization of netbooks is actually down by 50% among more recent iPad buyers, when compared to early adopter buyers.This means the iPad created a whole new market that was not there before.
According to the NPD retail statistics the under $500 segment of the Windows consumer notebook market actually grew by 21% for the 6 months ending March 2011 to become the largest segment of the consumer notebook market.
"The conventional wisdom that says tablet sales are eating into low- priced notebooks is most assuredly incorrect," continued Baker. "The over $500 Windows consumer notebooks market is where PC sales have been impacted the most, with a 25% decline from October 2010 to March 2011."
I do not understand though why Microsoft reported a 40% decline in netbook sales in their latest quarterly earnings. Additionally I saw reports of lowered netbook shipping numbers from Asus for instance on Digitimes. I do not know why NPD sees a growth and others a decline.
In general though I believe that for the most part the iPad created a new segment and did not replace an existing one. It does though lock away $500 from the budget consumers have for gadgets. The good news is that most iPad owners buy accessories. According to NPD approximately 83% of iPad owners have purchased an accessory for their iPad, with cases being the most popular. The sales opportunities are being spread across all manufacturers and retailers, not just Apple. Approximately 50 percent of all cases are non-Apple branded, and according to the report about 50% of cases and more than 60 percent of screen protectors were purchased at a different store than where the consumer purchased their iPad.