Part of the reason that other PC manufacturers are scrambling to push their own tablet computers out is that they can see their notebook market share being cannibalised by Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPad. Not only that, it is becoming clear that while the iPad may be eating into Apple’s own iPod Touch sales it is not affecting their own laptop sales.
Asus told investors that this quarter it is only expecting to sell 1.4 million notebooks, compared to 1.5 million in the previous quarter. Whilst Apple’s sales seem to be increasing in all areas of their business that must be a bitter pill to swallow for Asus.
Asus CEO Jerry Shen, is refreshingly upfront about the iPad being the cause of a drop in demand for their notebooks.
What will be interesting to observe is whether Apple’s predicted 85% share of the tablet market will decline as the likes of RIM, HP and Google start shipping their tablets. Or if Apple’s share will hold steady, or even grow, as it did when it launched iTunes and the original iPod what seems like a century ago now. For a long time people were claiming that it was only a matter of time before rival MP3 players from the likes of Sony (who own the iconic brandname ‘Walkman’) would start to eat into Apple’s market share. It hasn’t happened yet though. Part of the reason is that Apple are very good at tying up their products with a great user experience, and the all important content to go with them.
I think that the other problem that other manufacturers face is that the public buying iPads doesn’t see them as “tablet computers”. Which is the way that the computer industry sees them. Where as Apple’s customers by and large see iPads as “Apple iPads”, and its quite likely that the term iPad will become common usage, much like “Hoover” became what a lot of people call Vacuum Cleaners.
Time will tell. But I think 2011 might be a disappointing year for one or two computer manufacturers.
Do you think Apple are set to own the “tablet” market for the foreseeable future? Or are Google, RIM and HP going to rake market share away from Apple in 2011? Let us know your take on it in the comments.