Selling PCs isn't the business it used to be.
HP said yesterday that revenue from consumer notebook and desktop sales dropped 23 percent in the last quarter, Dell reported yesterday its sales of computers to consumers dipped 7 percent, and Acer's shipments dove 16 percent percent. Meanwhile, tablets, specifically the iPad, are flying off shelves. Gartner is predicting Apple will sell 47 million iPads this year, out of 70 million tablets worldwide, and that the overall number of tablets will grow to 108 million next year.
Taken together it's easy to conclude that the relatively new tablets are cannibalizing PC sales in the consumer market. And they are, but not in a way you might expect. A recent study from Forrester showed that people who buy a tablet are more likely to have purchased a computer in the last two years. Forty-four percent of them had bought a PC in the previous year, 28 percent in the previous two years.
The more accurate conclusion is that tablets are establishing themselves as a replacement for a second or third computer. Consider the tablet the replacement for that computer people would like to have but could do without. … Read more