updated 10:50 am EDT, Tue June 8, 2010
Morgan Stanley sees iPad already slowing netbooks
The iPad's sales rate is fast enough that it could grow faster in its first year than netbooks, Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty estimated today. Having increased the expected iPad shipments in 2010 from 6 million to 10 million, Huberty estimates Apple could move 13 million to 16 million iPads in the tablet's first full year, or well over the 7.6 million netbooks that sold in that category's first 12 months.
The researcher also updated previous netbook estimates and found that the iPad had an even more destructive effect on netbook sales in the US during April than previously thought. Apple's slate was originally thought to have just flattened growth from year to year, but the netbook market ultimately shrank 13 percent compared to April last year.
Such a drop is not only rare but suggests to Huberty that netbooks may have finally reached their maximum sales potential. Tablets could not only continue to gain momentum but could pass netbooks in 2012, she said.
Part of the popularity could come from the usefulness of the iPad as an actual computing device instead of as a media companion. A typical iPad owner views about 38 web pages per day; the number is nearly as high as for a desktop Linux owner and more than twice as many as for an iPhone user, who visits an average of 18. Windows and Mac users are still prolific at a respective 67 and 117 pages per day.
Morgan Stanley's data doesn't touch on foreign sales, although the iPad didn't ship to other countries until late May. The effect of Apple may be less in these areas regardless, as countries with lower median incomes are less likely to buy a strictly secondary tablet and more likely to want a device that can function more independently, like a netbook. Apple's pricing is also about $200 higher than for a typical netbook and may discourage more cost-sensitive buyers.