updated 08:40 am EDT, Wed September 8, 2010
iPad seen hurting all low-end notebook sales
Apple's iPad isn't just hurting netbooks but notebook sales as a whole, UBS analyst Maynard Um told investors today. While it wasn't always replacing notebooks outright since it isn't currently a true replacement, the tablet is in many cases letting computer buyers put off either replacing or upgrading a computer in the same timeframe. Lower-end PCs were at the highest risk.
"Sales of traditional notebooks appear to be feeling pressure from the iPad, causing a scramble by vendors to launch iPad-like tablets," Um wrote. "We believe that a majority of this impact is occurring on the lower end of PC sales as the iPad is priced close enough to this range that it becomes attractive to consumers looking to make purchases within this segment."
The researcher didn't directly say who had been impacted, but the claims have been backed by both confirmed and likely effects on PC builders, especially those who depend on netbooks. ASUS has lowered its Eee PC shipments during what's normally supposed to be a peak sales period, purportedly due to the iPad curbing its results. Samsung's creation of the Galaxy Tab may have been to offset the iPad's damage to its netbook business in Europe.
In spite of competitors, Um didn't see a significant threat to the iPad in the short term and saw Apple moving as many as 28 million iPads in 2011, a figure which he said could still be "conservative." It also isn't affecting the Mac, he said.
The analyst further cited industry checks that "confirm" the CDMA iPhone should arrive in early 2011. Its possible effect bumped the forecast from 47.2 million iPhones moved in 2011 to 52 million. The just recently released iPod updates also gave Um reason for optimism for MP3 players, with the FaceTime support on the iPod touch being a stronger selling point.