iPad may eat into netbook sales, survey suggests

No wonder PC vendors like HP and Asus are in a hurry to get slate devices out in the market. A consumer survey quoted by PC World suggests that the Apple iPad alone may put a significant dent in netbook sales.

Consumer electronics shopping guide Retrevo organized the survey, which involved "more than 1,000 U.S. consumers." The results are interesting, to say the least. Retrevo found that, when asked if they held off on buying a netbook after the iPad launched in January, 30% of respondents said they did… and subsequently purchased an iPad. Meanwhile, 40% held off but grabbed a netbook anyway, while only 30% were unshaken by the launch.

More interesting still, when asked if they were planning to buy an iPad or a netbook, a whopping 78% of respondents leaned toward the Apple device. The remaining 22% sided with netbooks. And when asked about what feature in particular made netbooks attractive, 54% of folks said "small & light," while price and battery life got 20% and 19% of responses, respectively. "Other" attributes (like, oh, maybe being able to run Windows) accounted for only 7% of responses.

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    • End User
    • 9 years ago

    Asustek lowers 3Q10 netbook shipments goal due to competition from iPad

    §[< http://bit.ly/a8qabY<]§

    • dustyjamessutton
    • 9 years ago

    Meh, I just bought an Acer Aspire One netbook today deleted windows 7, and installed Moblin. I didn’t even consider an iPad. iPad is just an oversized iPod touch. Honestly, I would love to see Apple rebrand products and release them as something new, just like NVidia did for a while. All Apple did was make the iPod touch bigger, and maybe add 3G support. I would rather have a choice in my OS, and I really wanted to try Moblin, so I bought the netbook.

      • trackerben
      • 9 years ago

      Even Mac fans were saying the ipad is just ipod oversized, and I used to think so too til I got one. After months of day-to-day use I can now say “not really”, for like a million others, I’ve discovered that the thing is likable in ways different from my wife’s 3GS or my Palm and is more than the sum of its iphone-derived parts.

      OS functional quality is still important but the robust UI and form of the ipad has a refined quality of its own. I have an hp 110 netbook and use it mainly as a lightweight trade-off to my main portable. But I’ve come to rely more and more on the ipad to usurp entire uses as it makes no apologies for the things it does well, especially in the gaps. Like browsing in bed or on a gym cycle, or snatching a read on the go or while lined up at a counter. It is also easy to prop it on someone’s work or lunch table and then ask them to reach out and touch the content. They immediately take to the UI and so you get that precious instant feedback and involvement.

      It really grows on you in certain cases, particularly as a web and ebook consumption device and of course touch games. The big screen is great at presenting sizeable maps of interactive elements which demand the kind of real-time positive control smaller screens just cant provide. Obvious cases are map-heavy games like red alert, but also quick problem solvers and optimizers which must be readily available at hand, literally. A hardcore scenario would be battlefield asset and sensor management, which is why the military has a senior procurement team at apple HQ. For such use cases apparently nothing else comes close.

    • thebeastie
    • 9 years ago

    The Ipad is going to be great for the consumer, what little people appear to be understanding is that it is going to FORCE laptop designers to finally bring truly thin and light laptops in to compete against the ipad. As there will still be a lot of people who will be sitting on the fence of what they actually want.

    I have lost count at how many friends and co workers I see scouring the internet for hours if not days and weeks looking for a thin and light laptop that is to their taste and failing.
    It isn’t that it can’t be done, it is just purely greed and laziness in the PC industry.

    • MadManOriginal
    • 9 years ago

    <$500 devices compete with other <$500 devices. More shocking news at 10!

    • blastdoor
    • 9 years ago

    Looks like Apple edged in front of Microsoft today in terms of market capitalization. Rather fitting that this story should come out on the same day.

    • flip-mode
    • 9 years ago

    Netbooks are a joke. I’d take an iPad over a netbook.

    • Corrado
    • 9 years ago

    It could also have to do with the netbook class not really … evolving at all. A 1st gen MSI Wind like I have is still pretty much comparable to the netbooks of today, some 2 years later. I’d imagine people that want a netbook have one, and after using/reading about them they find theres no real reason to upgrade?

    What has gotten better in the netbook realm? Really nothing.

      • mattthemuppet
      • 9 years ago

      I guess that’s due to both price pressure (you can’t add premium features to a commodity item) and Intel’s efforts to stop Atom powered netbooks climbing up the performance scale and stealing sales from CULV and other notebooks..

    • Corrado
    • 9 years ago

    I also find that whenever I read of anyone HAVING an iPad, it seems it slowly (or in my case not so slowly) becomes your primary ‘away from your desktop’ computing platform. It seems that the only people that HATE the iPad are people that have never used it, or only used it for 5 minutes in the store, and already had their minds made up before they got there that it was awful.

      • d2brothe
      • 9 years ago

      Heh, don’t assume correlation implies causation.

        • Corrado
        • 9 years ago

        What? What correlation? That people that use the iPad tend to end up liking it? I didn’t say anything caused anything. I said that the people that trash the iPad have generally NOT USED ONE for any amount significant of time.

    • blastdoor
    • 9 years ago

    I think what’s going to be very interesting is to see how much of this is purely form factor versus how much of it is Apple user experience. If it’s just the form factor, then there is tremendous hope for all the other computer makers, because it shouldn’t be hard to replicate the hardware of the iPad. If people just want to use this to browse the web on the couch, then Android will easily have that covered, and anybody can sell these things.

    Presumably what we’ll ultimately see play out is what we’ve seen play out in the past — the market will split into the Mac people and the PC people (or the iPhone people and the Android people). What we don’t know at this point, though, is how many true “mac people” there really are. I’m pretty sure it’s more than Apple’s 5% share of the computer market. The upper bound is apple’s share of the mp3 player market. Obviously those are very wide bounds, and I have no idea what the right number is.

    • trackerben
    • 9 years ago

    Mirrors my case. For the past two months I’ve had to choose between netbook or ipad to pack along with my ultraportable (two wireless endpoints are useful in my line of work). Found myself bringing the iPad more and more, especially for the after-hours fun. Whatever one’s initial reasons for buying or pitching, this fruit grows on you.

    • Big-Mac
    • 9 years ago

    I bought an iPad to my dad as a birthday gift. All he needed are: email, photo viewing, video clip and web surfing.
    He love the iPad and tossed his desktop in 1 second.

    • Corrado
    • 9 years ago

    I think you guys saying that they’re COMPLETELY different are missing what the netbook was supposed to be. A thin and light, low performance email, IM, photo viewing and web surfing machine with a low cost and long battery life.

    Its like saying a VW Rabbit Pickup and a VW Rabbit are COMPLETELY different things, despite the fact that the majority of people that own Rabbit pickups will NEVER haul anything in them. You end up with two things that look different, but are ultimately used to do the same things. The pickup that CAN do a lot more, but isn’t really very good at it, much like you CAN do heavy Office productivity work on a netbook, but its not really very good at it due to the small screen/low resolution and small keyboard.

    They both fit the same niche whether you want to admit it or not. Really, the only tasks that the iPad CAN’T do is Flash, and netbooks/Atom CPUs aren’t exactly good at that in the first place.

    • BooTs
    • 9 years ago

    l[

      • d2brothe
      • 9 years ago

      You should take a statistics class. A properly randomized survey of 1000 participants is plenty large enough to give useful and accurate information. The sample size is not nearly as important as random sampling. In fact, the size of the total population is almost irrelevant when it comes to the sample size.

        • BooTs
        • 9 years ago

        Wouldn’t any failure of the randomization process get amplified if results from a set of 1,000 are extrapolated to 500,000,000?

        Assuming that the randomization is going to be imperfect, wouldn’t a larger sample size potentially diminish some of the error?

          • Kharnellius
          • 9 years ago

          No because how diverse of a population uses facebook versus owns a phone? Keep in mind age, income level, and education level, (besides race.)

          Most people who use facebook are typically in the younger crowd, most likely own a computer (so they must have some money around), and probably went to school (since that is how facebook got started).

          I would suggest that group already has a much higher chance of looking to own / can afford an ipad and would even know what it is already. Surveying that group only skews the results and leaves out a lot of people.

          Surveys through the phone hit everyone! Young and old, low income, high income, educated, not educated, etc etc etc. (Think “King and I”)

    • sweatshopking
    • 9 years ago

    you guys are all silly. of course this would eat into netbook sales. if I am going to buy a super cheap computer, as many people who buy netbooks or ipads are looking at the cheapest computer not the best or necessarily second computers, just whatever is cheap, they may buy into the marketing for the ipad. the fact is MOST people are poor. MOST people struggle to pay bills, and buy the best they can for what little money they have. and that might be ipad vs netbook vs notebook.

      • d2brothe
      • 9 years ago

      Except that the ipad requires you to have an additional computer just to use (well maybe just activate, I’m not sure) it. Further, I think the data showed that the majority of netbook buyers were buying a second computer as well.

        • OneArmedScissor
        • 9 years ago

        On top of that, iPads cost more than laptops, and netbooks and laptops can be had for the same prices.

        This whole iPad vs. netbook thing only started because it was the Apple hype machine’s BS excuse for not making $300 netbooks.

          • sweatshopking
          • 9 years ago

          i should state that i think the ipad sucks. i much prefer the notion ink platform of tegra 2, and notions vastly superior screen. As for multiple computers, sure, i have 2 pc’s. my wife has a laptop i cant and dont touch, and my pentium 2. if somebody asked me, do you already have a computer when i bought a netbook, i’d say yes. i have 2. really i dont, and it would be a full replacement system, moving the number of pc’s that I ACTUALLY have to 1, which it realistically is.

    • designerfx
    • 9 years ago

    how many times does this have to be debunked?

    ipads and notebooks are entirely different categories of devices, and have different uses.

      • OneArmedScissor
      • 9 years ago

      As many times as it takes before people stop clicking these articles…oops.

      • Decelerate
      • 9 years ago

      And notebooks and netbooks may serve different uses…

      • d2brothe
      • 9 years ago

      This survey (read: DATA) argues otherwise. They may have different uses, but probably not DISJOINT uses.

        • blastdoor
        • 9 years ago

        Or another way to put it — there’s a distinction between a device’s capabilities and what people actually use it for. One could look at the history of personal computers as a history of computer designers slowly coming to terms with the fact that their customers are interested in a different product than what the computer designers are interested in. The iPad might be the closest thing yet to what 75% of people want in a computer, 75% of the time.

          • Corrado
          • 9 years ago

          You summed up what I was trying to say.

          It doesn’t matter what it CAN do, it matters what people ACTUALLY do with it. If people only do 3 tasks, and the iPad does those 3 tasks simpler and easier, then it doesn’t matter that a netbook can do 6 other tasks.

            • blastdoor
            • 9 years ago

            yup — exactly.

            • Palek
            • 9 years ago

            Just to flog this very dead horse a bit more, I wonder what percentage of people use their personal computers to actually *[

          • Kharnellius
          • 9 years ago

          Very well said.

    • Hance
    • 9 years ago

    If anybody is buying the iPad based on price its because they want the most expensive toy. I have an iPad and a netbook both have their place. The iPad is the absolute best sit on the couch and surf device ever built. As far as getting useful work done you can’t do it on the iPad.

      • d2brothe
      • 9 years ago

      Heh, this was my immediate thought as well. I figure whatever percentage answered price was their deciding factor were the ones who said they’d buy a netbook over an ipad. Or perhaps they were just wowed by Apple’s “magical” and “unbelievable” price……ha…unbelievable indeed.

      • Corrado
      • 9 years ago

      I disagree. If you need to crank out some real work, you can just use a keyboard with it and Pages or Keynote works fine. Numbers kind of sucks, though, so I will give you that.

        • blastdoor
        • 9 years ago

        I think it really depends on how one defines “real work” and that really depends on one’s occupation. Anyone who is very mobile during their day and who needs to enter data would find the iPad to be far better for their “real work” than a netbook. But for someone who spends most of their day at a desk, then the iPad probably isn’t going to help them with most of their “real work”.

        I find that the iPad is great for meetings, but when I get back to my office I’m not going to be writing reports or doing data analysis on my iPad even if it’s technically possible, just because the best tool for that job is my desktop computer.

        The device that really doesn’t fit into my life is the netbook. In every instance where I might use a netbook, I’d rather use either a full laptop or an iPad. It’s really the netbook that is the awkward form factor for me.

        • Hance
        • 9 years ago

        Depends on the type of work you need to get done. The programs that I use for work are windows only and thats not going to change anytime soon. Typing is way to slow on the iPad to get any serious amount of work done in my opinion.

          • Corrado
          • 9 years ago

          Exactly, and thats how its supposed to be. They situate it in between your phone and your PC/Laptop. Having an iPad makes me OK with having a 15″ MBP. If I didn’t have an iPad, I’d get the 13″ or a MacBook air because I don’t want to lug a 15″ machine, let alone a 17″ machine around if I don’t have to. I have a Mac Mini now, and I’m considering getting rid of it to get a 15″ MBP. My only hang up is the lack of ability to power 2 external monitors, but I really don’t NEED that, I’d just like it.

    • OneArmedScissor
    • 9 years ago

    “Is the Laptop Killing Netbooks?” Holy sensationalism, Batman!

    Next time on the Pointless Survey Is Pointless Show: apples may eat into orange sales!

    • khands
    • 9 years ago

    Makes sense, both device types are more luxury than productivity appliances.

      • FuturePastNow
      • 9 years ago

      They’re also inherently a secondary computer… and all most people want out of them is web browsing on the couch and toilet. There’s no reason an iPad can’t be used instead of a netbook for most of what people use netbooks for.

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