The iPad’s cannibalization of the PC market may have slowed if the latest NPD market research report is any sign of things to come. The report found that new purchasers of the iPad are less likely to have foregone purchasing a PC than the early adopters of the iPad. It found that of those who had purchased the iPad over the holiday season, 12% would have decided against a PC purchase when they bought an iPad. This is a 2% drop from the 14% of those decided against a PC amongst those who had owned their iPad for 6 months or more.
Netbooks were saved the most, with iPad cannibalization falling by 50%, which actually led the netbook market to grow by 21% between September 2010 and March 2011. NPD also believes that the slowing of PC sales over the past couple of months has more to do with Windows 7 than the iPad:
The explosion of computer sales when Windows 7 launched, as well as the huge increase in netbook sales at that time, are much more to blame for weak consumer PC sales growth than the iPad
The report contradicts what analysts were calling the “iPad effect” in the first quarter of 2011 when US PC sales fell 10.7%. In fact at least one analyst, including Katy Huberty of Morgan Stanley, revised her 2011 PC shipments down after predicting a tablet cannibalization rate of 29% - which is nearly 3 times what this NPD report says was the rate when it surveyed customers in March.