Sunday, October 17, 2010

Is the iPad Stealing Laptop Sales?

ipad vs laptopThe iPad is a phenomenal technological device. It has been a huge success for Apple, but is this new gadget stealing all the laptop sales? Are consumers beginning to choose this ultraportable tablet over the much bulkier option of a laptop?

According to a survey conducted by NPD, Apple’s iPad is not having a particularly significant impact on the sales of laptops. The research group found that only 13 percent of those who purchased an iPad did so instead of buying a laptop. NPD also polled consumers who have bought these iPads and asked them if they had bought Apple’s tablet device in place of a dedicated eBook reader. Twenty-four percent of those surveyed said that they had.

When Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple, first introduced Apple’s iPad in January, he said that the device was meant to be a “third screen.” What he meant by this was that the iPad was not supposed to be a replacement for a desktop computer or a laptop. The iPad was really meant to create a whole new branch of computer technology, the tablet branch. Apple was not trying to replace desktops or laptops. Their strategy was very different from that. They believed that consumers who were considering replacing or upgrading their old desktop computer or laptop might decide to put off that purchase and instead buy an iPad in its place.

The iPad is certainly a wildly successful device, but there are definitely some limitations to be found with the tablet. There are other tablet devices that companies are releasing in an attempt to add the “laptop aspects” that Apple omitted with their original iPad, but will that really allow these companies to compete with laptop sales? Apple is even planning to release a new and improved version of the iPad sometime soon, but will that really make a difference? I personally feel that the iPad and other tablets like it are incredibly fascinating devices. They are ultraportable and extremely convenient, but there are simply tasks that are much easier to do on a laptop instead of a tablet. No one is going to want to write a whole paper on a tablet. It would simply be too annoying to try to type on. Yes, there is a keyboard and stand that can be purchased for the iPad, but if you use a keyboard and a stand, doesn’t that defeat the purpose of being ultraportable?

I do not think that the laptop industry needs to feel threatened by tablets right now. Laptop sales are still fantastic, despite the various releases of new tablets. Consumers love the concept of tablets, but it certainly does not seem like they are viewing them as laptop replacements. Laptop producers have no reason to be worried. Despite their popularity, tablets will not be taking over their industry any time soon.

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