ntel acknowledges that iPad is eating away at overall computer sales

In their summer earnings call earlier this evening, Intel conceded that Apple's iPad has eaten away at overall computer sales since the revolutionary tablet device was released in April. Electronista reports:

"There was "softness" in sales mainly in the US and Western Europe, both of which have been cornerstones of iPad sales. Executives said Apple's tablet was likely taking away sales "at the margin" as customers without a large income often had to choose between one device or another."

Over the past 6 months, some believe that as high as 13 percent of computer sales could have been lost to the iPad alone. This is an astounding number when you factor in how new the iPad is to the market -- and further suggests that Apple has single-handily defined a new market genre with their quickly-adopted iPad.

During the same time, it appears that they've taken a significant chunk of sales from the largest consumer electronics device category in history. Additional comments from the article suggested that the iPad may have an easy time holding their ground through 2011, as there won't be any form of concordant competition from any of the major players in the immediate future:

"Intel doesn't plan to have truly thin and long-lived tablets until 2011 but expected to be competitive with Android, MeeGo and Windows tablets."

Intel is assuming that these other players are going to just pick up market share with their initial offerings, and that they'll be able to compete head-on with iPad. However, assumptions are never a good thing to make -- especially in a market that's dominated by a company as smart as Apple.

What about you? Have you recently opted for an iPad over purchasing a new PC or laptop? Let us know in the comments below!


by Andrew Wray

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Reader comments

ntel acknowledges that iPad is eating away at overall computer sales


Apple's real challenge is to reach the older age groups that struggle with computers. My parents have always found computing difficult and simply don't feel they can cope with a new system after struggling with Windows for so many years.

Come on Andrew, Apple is singlehandedly one of the worst companies that squander their market dominating leads (see PC era, and now iPhone).
Just like the above examples, to assume Apple will keep their head start so easily is just as naive as to say they'll be crushed just as well.
With some high octane devices coming out next year I wouldn't bank on Apple keeping a dominating lead

A couple of my friends and I have decided that we're going to go with the iPad and the new Mac Mini rather than getting a Mac Book Pro. This wouldn't be a smart move for every one but for what we would use are laptops for, this would be the better choice. Plus the base iPad model and Mac Mini are almost the exact price of the entry Mac Book Pro.

A giant iPhone, Err , I mean iPad, will never replace my laptop. I can do about a billion more things on my PC than an iPhone or iPad. Don't get me wrong, I love my iPhone, and it's great for staying current while on the road, but it can't replace the power and function of my PC. And neither could an iPad, which is essentially just a larger version of an iPhone.

@Darkstar - I couldn't agree more. Some people don't realize that an iPad is NOT a computer. Don't get me wrong. I think it's cool. It's a great multimedia device for watching movies, reading books, surfing the net, reading books, playing games, etc., but it is not a computer.

@MyPhone - I agree with you and Darkstar that the iPad is not a computer but I disagree that people don't realize that point. I think most people are very clear about that point and it is the reason the iPad is selling so well. The truth is most people who buy a computer don't really need its power or complexity but until now there hasn't been a decent alternative for web surfing, email etc. Want those simple functions you had to get a computer even though you would never use 99% of its capabilities. The iPad is what many people are looking for I'm a computer even if it isn't a computer.

Why would someone "without a large income" chose an iPad over a desktop computer or netbook? iPads are so over priced for what they are.

ChefStephen took the words right out of my mouth. iPad is doing well because people don't need a full fledged computer. the iPad does exactly what they need it for and thats it.

@ChefStephen - I agree with you that an iPad can be a substitute for simple computing i.e. web surfing and email. The only other consideration is that you still need a computer to run iTunes for syncing and media/data management since the standard interface to iOS devices does not allow you access to the file system.

Also, people keep saying that it's just a giant iPhone. But the truth is that iPhone's capabilities almost completely satisfy the average consumer's media/computing desires. What do most people need computers for? Email, web-surfing, games...etc. All of those functions can be performed on an iPhone. The one drawback was that iPhone had too small of a surface area. Hell, that didn't even bother some of us. So all Apple did was take that functionality and apply it to a larger surface; and boom - they birther the iPad!

Maybe you should introduce your parents to iOS and see what happens. One of the great things about the iPhone and iPad is that they seem to be super intuitive whereas a normal pc isn't.
I introduced my (now 4) 2 yr old to the iPhone a while back as something to play with and he figured out the basics pretty immediately. These days we actively use the iPad as a tool to help suplement his education and he loves it. I've heard tales from the opposite end of the spectrum too. Older persons who avoided pcs like the plague were able to pick up iOS in short order and were soon surfing the web and using email.

I'll keep my netbook thank you. I use my iPhone for extreme computing portability. But if I need some more power, I want a REAL computer. Where I can type on a REAL keyboard, and print without using an app (airprint not withstanding).
The iPad has it's niche market (as does the netbook). But for REAL computing on the go, u still can't compete with a netbook or notebook.

People comparing iOS devices to computers are missing the point of this article. Nobody's claiming to replace computers, they're claiming iOS devices to be an alternative. to computers.
If you sell your car to ride a bicycle, you're choosing an alternative form of transportation, not replacing a car.
Relax. :roll:

I sold my laptop and bought an iPad the day they came out. I haven't looked back yet! I still have a desktop at the office, and there are plenty of computers around the house, but I use my iPad for everything I formerly used my laptop for!

Good analogy. To extend it further, people (in the US) need a car for everyday use, and purchase a bicycle as secondary/recreational travel. The iPad is similar - it is not enough to replace the primary computer (and in fact requires one to use fully), but it is more than enough as a peripheral device to that central computer hub. I suspect what intel is seeing is the iPad eating into sales of the secondary computer in a household. In other words, most people are not choosing an iPad or a computer, they are choosing a computer, then between an iPad and a second computer. By design, the iPad is not well-suited to take over that primary slot any more than a bike will replace a car, but it has performed well enough in it's limited mission (or because of it) that the industry has taken notice.

@Fastlane 100% in agreement. It's a niche market. I keep reading people equating the iPad as a big version of the iPhone and they are missing the point. It's another option in the progression of technology. I use all three (IP, iPad, MBook) in my daily computing life.