Microsoft has officially conceded the fact that the Apple's iPad is eating into Windows-powered netbook sales, according to Gavriella Schuster, General Manager for Windows product management with Microsoft:
But the success of the Apple iPad, and the impending Google Android tablets, are beginning to threaten Windows' hold on the "and" PC market. These [Netbooks] are definitely getting cannibalized. These are really a second device. But they are getting cannibalized.
Microsoft labels netbooks as "and" devices, meaning they aren't full-fledged PCs but rather augment a user's computer. However, these 'secondary device' sales are being devoured by Apple as a result of their success with the iPad. With the addition of iOS 4.2 coming very soon, essentially adding a multitude of features to an already feature-packed device, we only see this cannibalization progressing. Jonny Evans from ComputerWorld had this to say:
Sales in the netbook segment will continue to dwindle, and as mobile solutions continue to innovate and expand their market, eventually low-tier tablet devices will debut which will more than replace the remnants of the netbook market.
Remember, the iPad is currently believed to hold a 95% share of the tablet market, and over 20% of all consumers plan on purchasing an iPad in the future. Could the iPad eventually send the netbook to its grave?