Tablets are hurting sales of laptops and desktop computers, according to data from the main hardware groups.
HP saw sales of these items slide 23% in the past quarter, according to CNET, while Dell saw a 7% dip in this category and at Acer it was down 16%. Tablets, on the other hand, are soaring; 47 million iPads are expected to sell this year, up to 108 million next year according to technology research house Gartner.
So does this represent the beginning of the end for laptops and desktop computers? Probably not. Research from Forrester shows that most people who buy tablets are also keeping up to date on their other computer equipment too: 44% of those buying a tablet had also bought a PC in the previous year.
After all, no matter how cute it is, a tablet isn’t a replacement for a PC or a laptop. Tablets are great for Twitter, reading newspapers and browsing, but you can’t really work on it, not really. The keyboard on the iPad is good considering it’s a touchscreen, but until Apple introduces haptic (tactile) feedback on the keys, there is no contest if you need do any more than just a little bit of typing.
Case in point: The man sitting in Starbucks the other day, with his iPad on a stand, hooked up to a full size mouse, a removable keyboard and a USB stick. The iPad is cute, but what you have in front of you now, mate, it’s called a netbook.