The Apple iPad made its presence felt in the global netbook and tablet PC segment, boosting revenue during the second quarter but stealing shares from netbooks.
Sales of Apple iPads significantly impacted mobile PC shipment
figures during the second quarter of 2010, DisplaySearch, an arm of the
research firm NPD Group, reported Sept. 30. Following shipments of 3.3
million iPads, the world's most popular tablet stole shares from the
netbook segment but offered a boost to overall revenue figures with its
relatively high average selling price (ASP).
During the second quarter, shipments of tablet PCs and netbooks, or
"mini-notes," as DisplaySearch calls them, were down 4 percent
quarter-to-quarter but up 29 percent year-on-year. However, pulling out
iPad figures from the total, states the report, shows a drop in
shipment of 14 percent quarter-to-quarter and 13 percent year-on-year.
"The end of 2007 witnessed the launch of mini-notes. The first
quarter of 2010 signaled the birth of the tablet PC, and possibly by
extension, the beginning of the end of the mini-note market, especially
in developed regions," John F. Jacobs, director of notebook market
research, said in a statement. "Apple has leveraged their successful
iPhone business model onto the iPad."
Had Apple not struggled to meet demand, as shipments to Japan and
China began just at the end of the period, the "Apple Effect," as the
report calls it, would have been still more pronounced.
Going forward, DisplaySearch expects netbooks to continue to sell
well among first-time PC buyers in emerging markets. In regions with
high PC penetration rates, however, it expects tablets to continue to
take market share from the netbook and ultraportable segment.
"More than 50 other brands have tablets in varying stages from
development to mass production," said Jacobs. "Unlike the
mini-note/netbook model, which was not much more than a low-cost, basic
mobile PC based on the Wintel platform, the majority of tablets have,
or will, choose a combination of next-generation Intel Atom CPUs or
ARM-based CPUs paired with a version of Android, or in the case of HP,
On Sept. 27, BlackBerry-maker Research In Motion confirmed its place among the ranks of brands, with the official introduction of its BlackBerry PlayBook
, a tablet that will run an OS based on technology from QNX, a company it acquired in April.
"Although Apple now holds the vast majority of tablet PC market
share," Jacobs added, "the plethora of other brands that have, or will
soon be launching, their own tablets are sure to capitalize on what at
this point appears to be widespread consumer demand for very thin and
very light devices with exceptional battery life and a primary focus on
portability and content consumption."
Overall, the portable PC market experienced strong year-to-year
grow, rising 32 percent to 50.4 million units. Buyers wanting a thin,
lightweight device turned to the iPad, but those wanting greater
functionality chose larger notebooks, DisplaySearch reported, as the
price gap between 11.6-inch and 15.6-inch notebooks fell to less than
Despite a quarter-to-quarter dip in shipments for the netbook/tablet
PC category, the higher ASP of the iPad positively affected revenue,
which rose to $4 billion.
Industry consensus, states the report, is that a successful tablet
business model will focus on an "a la carte method for selecting the
software capabilities (apps) for the device and content consumption,"
unlike the typical trend PCs have followed, centered around Microsoft's
Windows OS and suite of office applications.