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Majority of Initial iPad Sales are not Cannibalizing the PC Market

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Contrary to popular belief, the iPad isn't causing cannibalization in the PC market because iPad owners don't exhibit the same buying and ownership patterns as the typical consumer electronics customer, according to market research company The NPD Group.

According to the report, only 13 percent of iPad owners surveyed bought an iPad instead of a PC, while 24 percent replaced a planned e-reader purchase with an iPad. iPad owners, especially the consumers who purchased an iPad within 2 months of launch, are significantly more likely to own Apple products and newer technologies, such as e-readers and smartphones.

iPad owners are much more likely than the overall population to own Apple computers, with 48 percent owning a Mac desktop or Mac notebook, while NPD's Online Household Penetration Study fielded earlier this year found Macs in only about 11 percent of households. In fact, of consumers who bought iPads in the two month initial launch phase 50 percent owned an Apple computer while that number dipped to 45 percent among later buyers. These buyers were also much less likely to own Windows desktops with just 53 percent of iPad owners overall having a Windows desktop compared to 75 percent of total households.

Apple iPhone ownership also correlated very closely to iPad owners, as 38 percent of iPad owners also own an iPhone.

"Early adopters, like iPad owners, follow a traditional pattern of consumer behavior; they purchase products because they want them, not because they need them," said Stephen Baker, vice president of industry analysis at NPD. "However, as Apple increases iPad distribution and consumer interest peaks, the profile of an iPad owner is much more likely to mirror the overall tech population. When that does happen other tech products with similar usage profiles as the iPad, such as notebooks, netbooks, and e-readers will come under increased pressure from the iPad. Until then, however, most iPad sales are likely to be incremental additional technology devices in the home, rather than a one-for-one replacement of a planned purchase."

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Tags: apple ipad