updated 10:05 am EDT, Fri September 17, 2010
Morgan Stanley: iPad hurting notebooks as a whole
Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty today issued a note claiming evidence that the whole notebook industry is shrinking due to the iPad. She pointed to NPD data from August which showed retail notebook sales having declined year-over-year for the first time. Notebook sales had started falling rapidly in April, when the iPad first shipped, and the decline has already continued in the first week of September.
The researcher also referenced Best Buy chief Brian Dunn's observation that the iPad had cut his notebook sales in half, although the Apple device had ultimately led the portable computing category to an increase at the retailer.
Whether or not the iPad was the direct cause isn't certain. A recent return to a tougher economic climate may have hurt spending, which would impact the more expensive full-size notebook category. Intel has also been conservative with performance in the netbook category and has seen relatively little gain over two years, giving shoppers little reason to replace the netbooks they bought in 2008 or 2009.
No matter the effect, Huberty expected tablets to have a deeper impact over time. Wider iPad distribution as well as the launches of the Dell Streak and Samsung Galaxy Tab may produce a "tablet cannibalization" effect that leads some to skip on notebook purchases, she theorized.