We’ve already heard that Apple’s iPad is putting a hurt on netbook sales. Now comes thinking that the iPad is a threat to the entire PC industry.
“Sales of traditional notebooks appear to be feeling pressure from the iPad,” UBS analyst Maynard Um says. Although the iPad cannot match PCs function-for-function, consumers who buy an iPad “may be more willing to delay purchases and upgrades of existing PCs,” Um told investors.
Um said he expects Apple will sell 28 million iPads in 2011, a figure he termed “conservative.”
Particularly worried about this news is Microsoft and low-end PC makers, such as HP and Dell. Up until now, the iPad has impacted sales of low-cost netbooks running either Linux or a stripped-down version of Windows. But if the iPad is eating into low-end PC sales, it means Microsoft is losing licensing fees from full-blown Windows to Apple. Also, this puts increased pressure on PC manufacturers to produce tablets that can compete – a difficult task.
In addition, Apple’s success in tablets digs the hole only deeper for Google. Although the Mountain View, Calif. Internet giant has been successful in matching Apple’s smartphone business move for move, can it do the same for an Android-based tablet?
Recently, Deutsche Bank analyst Chris Whitmore told clients the iPad is “directly cannibalizing demand for other vendors’ NB products.” The erosion of PC sales in light of the iPad enabled Apple to jump from the No. 7 computer-maker to the No. 3 spot, passing several traditional PC makers.