Sensational headlines have been taking the stage since thewas released and every other person I talk to at a conference always ask me what my new site will be called since Netbooks are obviously dead. I always set them straight letting them know that, yes netbooks sales have evened out, but they have evened out at 20% of all mobile computing sales. Netbooks have been growth sky rocketed cannibalizing notebook sales and has calmed down, to 20% of the mobile computing market. I’m not sure if you have caught on to the fact that 20% is a good chunk of the market and growth could not continue at this pace since they are a secondary device. The argument always continues with tablets replacing netbooks and the poor misinformed sap at the other end of the conversation actually thinks the iPad is actually killing the netbook. Apart from my explaining the stabilization of netbook sales and the usage scenario of netbooks and tablets we finally have a study with numbers proving my point!!
Researchers over at NPD have put out a study that actually attempts to find out what kind of niche the iPad is filling and what kind of people are buying them. I’m happy to report that only 13 percent of iPad users claim to have bought it tablet rather then buying a PC. And nearly twice as many say they decided to pick one up instead of a dedicated eBook reader though. So the more accurate statement is that the iPad is killing eBook Readers!!
What else did NPD uncover in this report? That iPad owners are more likely to own Apple products, which doesn’t surprise me since Apple fans are fanatics! Something a little less obvious was as reported that the most popular iPad activities include web surfing, reading and replying to email, and playing games. While you could make the case that these are exactly the activities people use netbooks for, a Windows or Linux powered netbook also makes it easier to edit documents and perform other activities that are easiest with a physical keyboard, so I don’t think PC makers have too much to worry about — especially since the numbers seem to show that iPads are not responsible for any significant change in the netbook and notebook space right now.
Thanks NPD for taking to task everyone who has been parroting the “Netbooks Are Dead” headlines!