Looks like that time everyone predicted would come, has: Apple’s PC sales went down, and iPad sales went through the roof. Cannibalization really does seem to be happening.
Mac Q1 2012 sales: 5.2 million
Mac Q1 2013 sales: 4.1 million (-21%)
iPad Q1 2012 sales: 15.4 million
iPad Q1 2013 sales: 22.9 million (+49%)
Say what you will, I still think Apple makes the best laptops in the world, and they got way better last year with the addition of Retina models (though the cost is a little north of “crazily prohibitive”). They also make the best ultra-portable laptop, the Air, which is pretty cheap in Mac terms.
The fact that sales still went down isn’t incontrovertible evidence of PC cannibalization, but it’s very compelling. My mom doesn’t even use a computer anymore – she does everything on her iPad. Normal, non-tech-savvy people are leaving the computers at work, and using iPads and smartphones at home.
I’m not saying the PC market as a whole is dying, so much as it’s on its way to becoming a niche. To ‘regular people,’ the PC is increasingly a specialist / workplace tool. The iPad is the new $500 laptop. Note that I don’t say ‘tablet,’ because I’d rather use a Chromebook than suffer through using an Android tablet as a general computing device.
The iPad does email, it does ‘the internet,’ it does YouTube / Netflix / Hulu, it does Angry Birds, and it does Facebook. And that’s what most people seem to care about these days. Why buy a laptop when an iPad is more portable, cheaper, and undeniably in vogue?
One can only hope for Android tablets that a rising tide lifts all boats.