iPad Unit Sales Equal 9.9% of PC Sales

| Analysis

Apple reported on Tuesday that the company sold 9.25 million iPads during the June quarter, a figure that equals 11% of the PC market, as noted by BusinessInsider. Alone, that would make Apple the 4th biggest PC maker in the world, but if you add in Apple’s Mac sales, the company would be #2, just behind HP.

We have to back up a bit, however, and point out a basic math error in Matt Rossoff’s article for BI. 9.25 million iPads is only 11% of the 84.4 million PCs sold during the June quarter (according to IDC) if you don’t count the 9.25 iPads in the total number, which you can’t if you’re going to make this comparison.

Accordingly, 9.25 million iPads is 9.9% of the combined 93.65 million PCs and iPads that were sold during the quarter, and that’s still an impressive figure. It also still leaves Apple as the #2 computer maker ahead of Dell, Lenovo, Acer, and behind HP’s 15.3 million PCs sold.

But that’s only if you want to consider an iPad a PC, which it’s not. Media tablets — specifically the iPad, which I think not only owns, but defines this market — are a new category of device, a new way to use computer technology.

At the same time, it could be argued that many iPad sales are taking what would have otherwise been a PC or Mac sale. Indeed, for the first time, Apple COO Tim Cook acknowledged during Tuesday’s conference call with analysts that iPads are cannibalizing Mac sales, even though Mac sales are still growing year-over-year.

No matter how you slice it, Mr. Rossoff’s main point that a new player in town has steamrolled its way into the PC market as a major player in a little more than a year is very valid point, and it’s something that should worry Apple’s competitors.

King iPad

King iPad

 

Comments

wab95

Bryan:

I think there are different ways to look at this question of whether or not an iPad is a PC; and from my read, different pundits have structured their arguments for or against on different core concepts, including: 1) design; 2) intent; 3) function; 4) use; and 5) consumer behaviour. In many of these arguments, the authors had a very specific point to make, and so focussed on only one core concept, finding for or against.

Without rehashing these well-worn arguments, an act tantamount to exhuming a long dead horse and flogging it again, I think if one is going to focus on iPad unit sales effect on PC unit sales, what is clear as that, to consumers, an iPad is a competitor of the PC, and a worthy, if limited, substitute.

In my own opinion, what is missing from most of these commentaries is an understanding of how PC users actually use their PCs, and time distribution of tasks. We may well find that, for a substantial if not majority of PC time, tasks on the PC and iPad are identical, which would render arguments of design, intent, and function moot. It will then come down to use and that most intriguing of moving targets, consumer behaviour.

barryotoole

what is missing from most of these commentaries is an understanding of how PC users actually use their PCs, and time distribution of tasks. We may well find that, for a substantial if not majority of PC time, tasks on the PC and iPad are identical, which would render arguments of design, intent, and function moot.

Or, in other words, for the tasks an average person wanted to do most of the time required a PC/Mac because there was no other choice.

While iPad may not do everything a PC/Mac may do, it is able to do what most want most of the time, without having to spend much more and being constrained to a desk and a mouse/trackball/trackpad. The ease of use and mobility of the product is additionally attractive.

So, many are choosing an iPad, because that’s all they need. Since I purchased an iPad last year, I’ve been using less and less of my laptop. Things I need ‘more’ computer for are done on my MacMini. I think I shouldn’t have purchased the MBA last fall, as I hardly use it.

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