iPad sales hurting laptops in SA
Johannesburg - Some local retailers have reported that an increase in Apple's iPad sales have affected the sale of PCs and laptops.
Christopher Riley, managing director of notebook and accessories retailer, The Notebook Company, said that while sales of iPads had been "absolutely brilliant", they had negatively affected total sales of netbooks and laptops at his company over the past two quarters.
"It appears the sales of iPad and iPad2, while they have been great, have negatively affected sales of our other products, in quite a major fashion. So while the arrival of iPads can be welcomed, at the end of the day they haven't acted to add that much to our overall revenue.
"I really felt that they would find their own niche in the market, rather than replacing other sales. But, in our experience, this is not happening. I thought they would replace laptops as more mobile devices, and that notebooks would finally replace desktops, thereby not affecting overall sales volumes."
Riley did say, however, that "perhaps a growing number of our clients are just more mobile users then the traditional desk-bound type".
Analysts had mixed feelings regarding the effect iPads and other tablet devices were having on the PC market, a market Riley originally predicted would be "noticeably affected".
PC sales were down in the most recent quarter, leading some analysts to claim this was a direct result of the increasing popularity of tablet devices.
Other analysts argued, however, that the Windows 7 launch prompted a sales spike that boosted PC sales figures last year. This resulted, therefore, in the "sales correction" seen during this last quarter reported.
"No matter how you look at it, less and less people and companies are going to go out there and actively shop for desktops. They will naturally have their place, but not at the rate of before. The sales curve for PCs will drop consistently over the next few years," said Riley.
According to the Bedford Report, global PC shipments fell in the first quarter compared with a year ago - the first drop in six quarters. Gartner and IDC, meanwhile, reported declines of 1.1% and 3.2% respectively. Gartner had forecast the figure would rise by 3%.
Shipments made by the top three PC makers including Dell, Acer and HP all dropped in the first quarter compared with the same period last year, the company said.