Study reveals iPad cutting into Netbook sales

Sections: Apple, Computers, Netbooks

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iPad A new study by Retrevo claims that Apple’s wildly popular iPad is hurting netbook sales. The study polled over 1,000 consumers and found that the majority chose an iPad over a netbook or cheap laptop, with 78% on the side of the iPad. That said, the iPad is really not a laptop replacement. Its lack of a keyboard makes word processing and working with spreadsheets difficult and the lack of flash support and multi-tasking makes it useless for many power users. Yes, there is a dock available with a physical keyboard but that makes the tablet less portable and convenient. Avid readers have discovered that it fails as an e-reader due to both the glossy screen, which makes it impossible to use in sunlight, and the weight of the device. The steep price makes it hard to justify for many as well. As an entertainment device it’s fantastic. As a business device, maybe not so much.

Back in March I had the choice between an iPad and a netbook and after much research and thought got a Toshiba 11’ ultraportable. As much as I personally like the iPad (I adore my iPod Touch!) it simply doesn’t do all I need a portable device to do. I needed to be able to use Firefox and Google Toolbar, and as a freelance writer and blogger, I need real keyboard. The on screen kind just doesn’t cut it for long writing sessions. I also needed multi-tasking as I frequently have my browser, email and MS Word going all at the same time. I love the Toshiba, it fits the bill perdectly.

Tell us how you feel! Netbook or iPad, and why?

Read [PCWorld]

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  • Michael Anderson

    Apologies for my earlier flame comment …

    The study actually did not say that 78% actually bought an iPad over a netbook, but rather that of those currently contemplating purchase and deciding between the two, 78% are 'leaning' towards the iPad. A rather important distinction, really. Why? Because the iPad is the 'new bright & shiny' and netbooks are last year's fad. Not really – but it seems obvious that a cool new toy like the iPad would garner more attention.

    That said, the study does contain some evidence of worry for netbook makers: of the 1000 folks surveyed who were thinking about a netbook before the iPad launched, only 30% ignored the iPad and bought a netbook. Of the remaining 70%, 40% eventually bought netbooks and 30% bought iPads.

    Interesting look at the impact! And since the iPad seems to have gone from lust at launch to early 'this is garbage' returns and now back to gaining loads of fans, it will be interesting to see how it does over the long haul.

    Personally I own both an iPad and a Lenovo s10 netbook. The iPad has definitely cut into my netbook use – but since I have always used the netbook as a secondary computer anyway it isn't a huge deal. I have always hated virtual keyboards so I got the keyboard dock, but on most occasions I use the virtual keyboard with no issues for light typing.

    I have found hte iPad able to handle much more stuff than I ever imagined possible. I had a business trip last week and used it for just about everything I didn't do on my work laptop – email, web browsing, typing into Evernote and WordPress, gaming, music, ebooks and so on! My PSP Go never came out once!

    My netbook is now only really seeing use playing classic games (I have a Netbook Gamer series I write), but the netbook has suffered as much by my purchase of an Alienware m11x as it has the iPad.

    Again I apologize for my earlier comment (rightfully deleted) and the nasty tone I took – it just seems that over the last month the data from Morgan Stanley, Gartner and now Retrevo are getting tossed around with some loose context applied. Your article doesn't make some of the bewildering claims I haev seen, so you didn't deserve what I said.