Netbook Killer: Apple’s revolutionary iPad destroying the netbook business

“There’s an interesting chart in a report to clients issued early Thursday morning by Morgan Stanley’s Katy Huberty,” Philip Elmer-DeWitt reports for Fortune.

“What caught my eye, however, was what her proprietary research shows about the impact of the iPad and other tablets on the broader gadget market, starting with netbooks. As her chart shows, sales growth of these low-cost, low-powered computing devices peaked last summer at an astonishing 641% year-over-year growth rate,” Elmer-DeWitt reports. “It fell off a cliff in January and shrank again in April — collateral damage, according to Huberty, from the January introduction and April launch of the iPad.”

“Her timing seems a little off,” Elmer-DeWitt reports. “Steve Jobs didn’t unveil the iPad until Jan. 27, yet the NPD data she cites is dated Jan. 10.”

MacDailyNews Take: Apple “tablet” rumors were off the charts well before Jan. 27.

Elmer-DeWitt continues, “But in support of her theory, she offers a Morgan Stanley/Alphawise survey conducted in March that found that 44% of U.S. consumers who were planning to buy an iPad said that they were buying it instead of a netbook or notebook computer.”

Full article, which also shows that iPod touch might be next in line to be cannibalized, here.

MacDailyNews Take: Nearly every netbook that’s replaced means one less Windows sale for Microsoft and one more OS X sale for Apple. Watch out for flying chairs!

• The tablet market has only succeeded as a niche market over the years and it was hoped Apple would dream up some new paradigm to change all that. From what I’ve seen and heard, this won’t be it.John “Bloated Gasbag” Dvorak’s iPad assessment, MarketWatch, January 29, 2010

You know, I’m a big believer in touch and digital reading, but I still think that some mixture of voice, the pen and a real keyboard – in other words a netbook – will be the mainstream on that… It’s a nice reader, but there’s nothing on the iPad I look at and say, ‘Oh, I wish Microsoft had done it.’Bill Gates, Microsoft Chairman, February 10, 2010

Bill Gates. Ever the visionary.

The Apple iPad is not going to be the company’s next runaway best seller.John “B. G.” Dvorak, MarketWatch, February 12, 2010

The iPad has fewer capabilities than a netbook, in a similar size. Not a good start.Lee Gomes, Forbes, March 05, 2010

iPads will top the publicity charts this week when they launch, but netbooks will still top the sales charts, and far outsell iPads into the foreseeable future. The iPad will remain an expensive, niche device compared to all-purpose netbooks.Preston Gralla, PCWorld, March 30, 2010

Gralla’s may be a record incubation time for a foolish quote. Congrats, Preston! Our Take in response to Gralla was: “Ford’s Model T will top the publicity charts this week when they roll off something Ford calls an ‘assembly line,’ but horse-drawn carriages will still top the sales charts, and far outsell automobiles into the foreseeable future. The Model T will remain an expensive, niche device compared to all-purpose horse-powered vehicles. – HorsecartWorld, September 23, 1908.”

Anyone who believes this thing is a game changer is a tool.Paul Thurrott, SuperSite for Windows, April 05, 2010

Leave it to Paulie to immediately break the record for ineptitude.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “JES42” for the heads up.]

78 Comments

  1. Even though I do not have an iPad, I cannot see why I would want to pay similar money for an ordinary netbook when the iPad is available. For the price, and in oh so many ways, it is a superior product. So, this is not surprising, but it is validation that outside MS entrenched Windows desktop world, Apple is a dominant force.

  2. @Contrarian

    I don’t know…I went to the Apple store last night to get first-hand, touchie-feelie with the iPad……eh….it found it heavy, but like everyone has said–very very responsive.

    I tried typing–my arms don’t yet have the muscle memory for the keyboard that my thumbs do on the iPhone keyboard–I can hold the iPhone and type at the same time.

    Then I see my daughter on her netbook–which she loves(she likes Apple products as well) and I think–that just looks right somehow!?

    THE iPAD IS TOO BIG!! I should be kindle sized and similarly weighted–that’s what I’d buy!

    When Apple finaly makes a netbook–nevermind what Steve the Jobs says–I’m buyin’ it!

    Apple got everything right but the size.

  3. MacDailyNews Take: Most every netbook that’s replaced means one less Windows sale for Microsoft and one more OS X sale for Apple. Watch out for flying chairs!

    —————————————–

    If the netbook is being replaced by an iPad, then technically it’s not an OSX sale, it’s one more iPhone OS sale for Apple… Partly the same, but definitely very different.

  4. The few netbooks I have seen in the wild were not that impressive. People who have looked at my iPad are amazed and most say they want one. Netbooks did show that people want small very portable devices. iPad blows netbooks away in size, usability, and cool apps. Star Walk blows peoples minds. Netbooks are last years toys.

  5. There seems to be a little confusion in the Dewitt comment and Mac Daily News response about the numbers after the names of months in the chart. These numbers usually indicate the year, not the day. This would seem to be substantiated by the YOY (Year on Year) label for the vertical blue bars.

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