iPad's popularity dents global PC growth

By Dawinderpal Sahota
14 Oct 2010 View Comments
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Jobs and his iPad
Apple's iPad is taking business away from PC vendors

The growing popularity of the iPad is causing demand for notebooks to suffer, according to analysts.

The global PC market grew 11 per cent in the third quarter of 2010, according to research firm IDC, but that figure was nearly 3 per cent below IDC's expectations.

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According to rival analyst firm Gartner, PC shipments surpassed 88.3 million units globally during the quarter, a 7.6 per cent increase on the same quarter last year. However, the figure was considerably lower than its forecasts which had been for growth in third quarter PC shipments of 12.7 per cent.

“Hype around devices such as the iPad has affected consumer notebook growth by delaying some PC purchases," said Mikako Kitagawa, principal analyst at Gartner.

“Media tablets don't replace primary PCs, but they affect PC purchases in many ways," she added. Kitagawa claims that the iPad has led consumers to take a 'wait and see' approach to buying a new device.

According to Gartner, the third quarter of the year is historically a strong one for PC retailers, stimulated by back-to-school sales, but that was not the case this year, due to the success of the iPad.

"The weak back-to-school sales were not because students held off on PC purchases, but because non-student buyers, who normally are lured by massive back-to-school promotions, stayed away from PC purchases," Kitagawa said.

"These buyers were influenced by tablet PC introductions, as well as the still-gloomy economy, since these buyers do not have an immediate need to purchase a PC."

Bob O'Donnell, IDC vice president for clients and displays, added that the iPad has also stimulated demand for other Apple products.

"The halo effect of the device also helped propel Mac sales and moved the company into the number three position in the US market."

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