The iPad won't kill Apple's products, but it will change some of 'em
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The iPad won't kill Apple's products, but it will change some of 'em

Some folks are predicting that the iPad will kill off many of Apple's products since the company is touting the "magical device" as having features of laptops, netbooks, ebook readers, iPods and more. The iPad won't kill off many Apple products (though if I were the MacBook Air and iPod touch, I'd be worried) but it will change them.

Survey data from Alphawise, Morgan Stanley's internal research team, indicate that iPad sales are hurting sales of the iPod and the MacBook. The survey shows that 44% of iPad buyers had chosen it over a laptop. Of that number, 24% had foregone buying a MacBook while the other 20% had nixed a PC notebook purchase. The survey also found that 27% of users would not buy a desktop as a result of their iPad purchase, with 14% of those not buying a Mac desktop, and the other 13% passing on a PC.

What's more, earlier this year, Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster surveyed 448 iPad buyers and found that 99 % of respondents had not considered either an iPod touch or an iPhone before making the purchase.

The opinion of the Sellers Research Firm (that's me) is that the iPad will but a BIG DENT in iPod touch and netbook sales and a little dent in MacBook sales. However, it will have practically no impact on MacBook Pro and Mac desktop sales. If you're mainly into digital content consumption, the iPad will serve you well. But if you're into content creation and productivity to any serious extent, the Apple tablet can't -- I repeat, can't -- replace your Mac.

To me the iPad is a great Mac companion. But a Mac replacement? No way.

However, the success of the iPad will see some major changes to the Mac in the months ahead. It's just a matter of time before touchscreens are at least an option on Macs, as more and more users get used to such an interface on their portable devices and want it on their computers. And that means we'll see Mac OS X and the iPhone OS adopt features from each other.

That said, most Apple hardware should be safe and sound as the iPad sales go through the roof. But dedicated ebook readers and small handheld gaming systems -- be afraid.

Be very afraid.

-- Dennis Sellers

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