updated 07:55 pm EDT, Fri September 17, 2010
Best Buy CEO backtracks on iPad killing notebooks
Best Buy chief Brian Dunn tonight reversed course on claims that the iPad cut notebook sales in half at his stores. In a statement, he did see "shifts in consumption patterns" towards the Apple tablet but characterized it more as an "incremental opportunity" than the market redefining shift it was first thought to be. He didn't accuse the WSJ of misquoting him but likened his view on notebooks to Mark Twain's after the legendary false obituary.
"The reports of the demise of these devices are grossly exaggerated," Dunn said.
The new attitude changes the cast of an earlier Morgan Stanley report that had referred to Dunn's earlier remarks as evidence, but it doesn't necessarily alter views that the iPad is taking away sales of traditional portables, especially netbooks. NPD data showed notebook sales growth having dropped rapidly in the US since the iPad's April launch and having swung to a decline by August.
Apple's hardware isn't necessarily the only factor, as economic worries may have curbed spending. Netbooks have also been slow to see large performance boosts and have given their owners few reasons to buy upgrades.