Sure, the iPad is its own thing. A tablet, kind of. But, is it going to be a market killer as well?
Because people currently buy notebooks and netbooks when they want a cheap laptop they’re going to use primarily to access the Internet. So, is the iPad cutting into this market? Survey says yes. In fact, the growth of the notebook market has been slowing down every month since Apple’s iPad launch. And in August of 2010, netbook sales in the U.S. actually started declining for the first time in more than a year.
So, is this cannibalization? Perhaps. People who were going to pay $500 for a netbook probably see the iPad as a worthy alternative. Especially if portability and sheer coolness are high purchasing factors for them. But someone with a $300 budget probably isn’t jumping up to the iPad’s price range.
But, over time, the iPad or an equivalent tablet could become what netbooks promised to be. A cheaper laptop designed for Web surfing. While netbooks have fallen short of their initial price-drop promise, perhaps some of the upcoming tablet releases could fill that market gap.