updated 02:45 pm EDT, Tue August 16, 2011
iPad proving popular with students, teachers
Back-to-computer PC sales -- particularly Apple's -- have been "encouraging," according to UBS analyst Maynard Um. "Demand for Apple's Mac computers remains robust as the brand continues to be the most popular among consumers and students heading back to school," he comments. The trend is "consistent with historical trends of Apple outpacing the overall PC industry growth," he adds.
Two PC makers singled out as winners are Dell and Lenovo. Conversely, Acer and Compal are identified as being the least popular computer brands in the current season. "While consumer desktop demand generally appears to still be weak, consumers seem to have returned to purchase notebooks for students heading back to school," says Um. "We believe this could serve as a modest bump for the PC industry as expectations for demand on the consumer side are currently very low."
Despite the renewed interest in notebooks, the iPad is claimed to be popular among both students and school staff. Rival devices are still having trouble, Um remarks. "Non-iPad tablet sales appear to continue to lag based on our checks," he writes. "Perhaps as evidence of this, a number of vendors have reduced price -- HP Touchpad & Viewsonic G-Tablet dropped by $100, Acer Iconia Tab A500 by $50 at Best Buy & Wal-Mart, & the Vizio 8 inch tablet by $50 at Wal-Mart."
The most popular non-Apple tablets are thought to be the ASUS Eee Pad Transformer and the Toshiba Thrive. Even these, though, are reportedly selling nowhere near the levels of the iPad.