With Apple reporting Q3 year on year sales growth of 142 percent for their Apple iPad with 9.25 million units sold, i have to ask the question; is the Apple iPad eating into PC sales or is it just into our pockets?
Business Insider recently claimed that the iPad has eaten into 11 percent of the PC market based on the iPad sales figures and latest forecast in personal computer sales from IDC of 84.4 million PC’s sold in Q3. But that argument is a bit too simplistic and does not take into consideration what we as consumers overall spend our money on. They also estimate that the number could be around 20 percent considering that likely half of all PC sales are to businesses, but they should have read the information from Apple more clearly as well, which outlines that iPad sales were strong with businesses and schools as well.
The whole comparison is in large parts faulty, primarily because it does not consider our behaviour as consumers. How many of you have bought an iPad to compliment your PC/laptop/Mac and not as a replacement?
Although the small 2 percent growth seen in the PC market is largely down to improved sales in China and India, it still shows a year on year growth in a market that is less than bullish at the moment with lots of people carefully considering what they spend their money on.
One also has to consider the lifecycle of the PC, as perhaps more an more of us don’t see the requirement to replace our PC/laptop every 2-3 years, but instead extend that lifecycle with another year or two. If that is the case, then PC sales are still doing fairly well. The iPad is still a new product in a new genre, so it will naturally attract interest.
Do i think that the launch of the iPad has impacted PC sales? Yes, but i don’t think that one can say that it has eaten 11 percent of the PC market as there are a lot more factors to consider. If you were to say it was the netbook only market, i would say that number would be much higher.
The likelihood is that growth in iPad 2 sales has eaten into our pockets/disposable income more than anything else, as we want the hottest gadgets and continue to consume media like never before.
See all the main numbers from Apple Q3 results.