Here's an interesting chart Apple just threw up at its iPad event today. Apple shipped 15.4M iPads last quarter, more than any PC vendor was able to ship PCs out of their own product lines. Granted the implication here is that PCs and iPads are replacement goods for one another, but I'm not entirely sure that's true. The two categories seem very complementary to me. What does seem to be happening however is tablet purchases like the iPad may extend PC upgrade cycles (e.g. I'll put off a PC upgrade for another year or two and just get a tablet this year), which is reason for concern if you are a PC vendor.

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  • apinkel - Wednesday, March 7, 2012 - link

    I think there are a few people who could get by with a tablet instead of a PC but I do think that is a pretty small group of the overall PC market. I think in most cases the ipad is a companion to PC as opposed to a replacement.

    Also, they obviously are framing these numbers in their favor here, but my take-away from that graphic is that around 85% of all larger screened personal computing devices are PCs. I actually would have thought that they had a larger market share based on all the discussion you see of the ipads.
  • meloz - Wednesday, March 7, 2012 - link

    Tablets are content consumption devices, not true replacement for a notebook let alone a desktop. They can be good as your second or third 'computer', but are no substitiue for the sheer power a modern desktop provides. If you want to do something productive you need a PC. This is an inherent limitation of the tablet form factor itself which cannot be wished away.

    Tablets are today where netbooks were a couple years ago. These trends come and go, the desktop will endure.
  • ant1pathy - Wednesday, March 7, 2012 - link

    Of course desktops will still be around. But there are a huge number of people who don't do anything beyond what a tablet offers. Expect to see the tablet market to boom and desktop shipments to fall quarter after quarter.
  • B3an - Wednesday, March 7, 2012 - link

    Yet many PC users dont seem to understand why MS are now targeting tablets so heavily with Win 8. They will sell extremely well. I see no reason at all to buy an iPad or even a laptop (for most people) once Win 8 tablets are out. They will do far more, work with all PC peripherals, can be transformed in to full PC with keyboard dock + mouse, and have the best touch UI around.
  • Taft12 - Wednesday, March 7, 2012 - link

    I hope you're being paid for the advertising, but cheerleading aside, a huge problem for MS even if Win8 is great is I see no reason to think the tablet market wouldn't already be saturated by the time they get a product to market. Anyone who has decided they want a tablet will already own one.
  • Fleeb - Wednesday, March 7, 2012 - link

    Does that mean it will be pointless for the next iPad or Transformer since people already own one?
  • PDXGeek - Thursday, March 8, 2012 - link

    Apple is obscuring the picture here. If we were to compare actual RAW shipments vs iPAD shipments the graph would look dramatically different. The real numbers would show that PC shipments were 49.8M while iPADs were 15.4M. These numbers don't even include the full PC picture, as several vendors are left out, including Apples own PC shipments.

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