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NPD: iPad Ripple Effect Strong

Port Washington, N.Y. –
The success of Apple’s iPad is not cutting into sales of lower-end laptops, but
it is pumping huge sums of money into the PC category, according to a report
from The NPD Group.

The research firm is
crediting the iPad with injecting billions of dollars into the PC category via
sales of the device itself and aftermarket accessories.

The report stated almost
75 percent of iPad purchasers said they had no intention of buying anything
else, which means the iPad sale did not come at the expense of another PC or
laptop sale.

In addition, 83 percent
of iPad buyers bought an accessory, normally a case. Only half of those cases
were Apple branded and 50 percent of the cases and screen protectors were
bought at a different retailer than the iPad.

Stephen Baker, VP of
industry analysis at NPD, said these facts indicate the iPad helps spread the
wealth among retailers and vendors.

This was not true of the
iPad purchase itself. NPD found that 75 percent of iPad sales during the
holidays were from Apple or Best Buy. Carrier stores were credited with only 3
percent of sales, which Baker said showed consumer indifference for 3G

“Consumers just do not
see the utility in 3G connectivity,” said Baker. “There’s an added expense for
the device and for the service, something a majority of iPad owners aren’t
willing to pay.”

When it came to whether
or not iPads were having a negative impact on PC sales, Baker said this was not
true. While early adopters may have bought an iPad over another device, more
recent iPad customers never intended to buy anything else.

Looking back over the 2010 holiday season, Baker said only 12
percent of iPad owners chose buying an iPad over another non-tablet product.

As further proof that iPads are not negatively impacting mid- and
lower-priced Windows laptops and netbooks ($500 and lower), NPD’s Retail
Tracking Service stated sales for this segment grew by 21 percent for the six
months ending in March. This now comprises the largest portion of the consumer
notebook market.

More expensive laptops did suffer during this period, with sales
falling 25 percent.

The report blamed the tail-off in PC sales growth on continuing
hot sales of netbooks and the previous uptick in sales caused by the release of
Windows 7.