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Apple’s iPad Seen To Be Cutting Into Computer And TV Sales

by Sean P. Aune | September 19, 2010September 19, 2010 8:00 am PDT

If the information coming out of analysts and electronics retailers is correct, Apple’s iPad isn’t just racking up great sales, it’s tearing apart other existing markets, some of which I don’t think anyone could have predicted.

According to an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Best Buy believes that the iPad has cannibalized upwards of 50 percent of its laptop computer sales since its release.  (The company is now denying this statement, but we have to say that their comments on this situation sound like the ultimate case of spin doctoring.)  Seeing as the company is rolling out the device to all of its stores early next week, I’m guessing we can expect that number to rise even more.

iPadBest Buy Chief Executive Brian Dunn told the paper,  “People are willing to disproportionately spend for these devices because they are becoming so important to their lives.”  He went on to add, “We are really positioning the company to be the place where people can come and see the best of the connected world.”

What was truly surprising was comments from Riddhi Patel from iSuppli Corp when she was discussing the decline in television sales as of late.  “It has become largely a replacement market,” Ms. Patel said. “New features are not driving sales in a significant way.People are saying, ‘I could buy a television or something totally new like an iPad that I don’t already own.'”  Are we truly seeing something like the iPad cut into the sales of televisions?

I can totally get behind the idea that tablets would cut into laptop sales.  While they aren’t a perfect laptop replacement for some people (i.e. me), they are perfect for your casual user.  But the idea of deciding to purchase an iPad over a television is just astounding to me.  True, Ms. Patel isn’t saying they are going completely without TV, they are just simply not upgrading as often, and that is turning TVs into a “replacement” market where people only purchase one when another set dies out.  This makes sense, but will there be a day where people decide they don’t even need to do that any more?

The landscape of electronics is definitely changing, and the priority for what consumers buy is shifting with it.  But could anyone have predicted iPads would become a bigger purchase priority than a new TV?

What say you?  What are you passing on to purchase the latest gadgets?


Sean P. Aune

Sean P. Aune has been a professional technology blogger since July 2007, but his love of tech dates back to at least 1976 when his parents bought...

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