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iPads Are Smoking PCs in The Education Market, Analyst Says

by Adriana Lee | September 5, 2012September 5, 2012 7:00 am PDT

Needham ipad sales

More than one article has proclaimed that this is the post-PC era. And the numbers are backing that up, at least in education.

According to recent market data figures, the iPad is replacing sales of PC computers in the education market for the first time ever. In a note to investors on Tuesday, Needham & Company’s Charlie Wolf reported that PC education shipments fell by 265,000 units (or 13.9 percent) from this time last year. Meanwhile iPad sales in the K-12 market reached nearly a million units — double what it was in the same period in 2011 — which makes for what he believes is “definitive evidence” that the Apple tablet has been “cannibalizing” PC sales in the education sector.

“Clearly, a significant portion of iPad sales represented an expansion of the market,” Wolf wrote. “But in view of the fact that Mac sales held steady at around 520,000 units but overall PC sales declined by 265,000 units from 1.90 million to 1.64 million units, we believe the inescapable conclusion is that the iPad is beginning to cannibalize a material portion of PC sales in this market.” While the numbers are rooted in education sales, Wolf doesn’t think it will end there: “In our view, the education market is the canary in the coal mine,” Wolf wrote. “The next market the iPad is likely to impact is the much larger U.S. home market.”

As mentioned, Macs remained steady in its sales to schools and students. Even so, the iPad still dominated, selling nearly twice as much to these customers. At least there’s the U.S. business sector, and Macs do continue to expand in that market, with a 56.6 percent year-over-year growth. (PCs, on the other hand, showed an 8.8 percent decline.) But despite this steady showing, worldwide home Mac sales still fell 4.6 percent.

Last July, Apple reported that Mac sales nabbed 4 million units, making for a new June quarter record. The iPad? It achieved 17 million, a new all-time quarterly record.

[Via Apple Insider]


Adriana Lee

Adriana is the resident writer-slash-culture vulture who has written about everything from smartphones, tablets, apps, accessories, and small biz...

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