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!

[Electronista]

by Andrew Wray