Goldman: iPad Primed to Eat Up Laptop, Netbook Markets

Apple’s already popular iPad is positioned to start eating into laptop and netbook sales, according to Goldman Sachs, and as multimedia tablet devices become more popular, that market cannibalization will grow even more.

Goldman Sachs analysts claim Apple hit a sweet spot with consumers by addressing five key categories: Consumption, content, always available Internet connections, constant operation and easy access to commerce, according to the Financial Times.

“By linking the device directly with its iTunes and App Store products, Apple has created an easy-to-use, direct conduit between users and a vast library of content that is custom-tailored for the iPad,” the report said.

Thanks to 3G support on some iPad models, Apple has made always available Internet connections something users expect and rely on.

“By integrating options for both WiFi and 3G connectivity, Apple has helped ensure that users have constant access to the content sources described above,” the report said. “We would contrast this to the existing situation in PCs, where the penetration of 3G connectivity remains very low, and the amount of setup required for Wi-Fi remains relatively high.”

By tying into the iTunes Store and App Store, Apple has made it easy for users to buy content for their tablets, too.

The number of CTOs planning to replace laptops with tablets over the next two years is surprisingly high, too. Of 90 CTOs interviewed, some 70 percent said that tablets would be replacing some portable computers over the next 24 months.

Not all of those tablet purchases will be iPads, but Apple seems to be eating into netbook and laptop sales already.