19 million laptop sales to be eaten by tablets in 2011


Cannibalization is never good. Apple may face cannibalizing AT&T by supporting Verizon and it looks like 19 million laptop and netbook sales may be eaten up by tablets like the iPad. Still, even with tablets chomping laptop sales, growth will still be high in the years to come. These numbers come from Bill Shope, an analyst at Goldman Sachs, and AllThingsD.

Shope believes that tablet ‘shipments’ (not sales) will jump to 54.7 million in 2011, and eat up about 35 percent of PC sales. In 2012, that number will grow to 79.2 million and 33 percent of sales. In short, about 19.1 million laptop sales will evaporate due to tablets next year and 26.1 million the  year after that. Here’s a confusing chart to visually illustrate what I just said.


Still, it isn’t as bad as this chart makes it seem. While tablets are eating into PC sales, PCs are still expected to sell around 350 million this year and 380-400 million in 2012.

“We recognize that it is difficult to accurately predict the cannibalization rate of such a nascent market, but we believe early evidence supports our views,” said Shope. “In fact, in Goldman Sachs’ recent IT spending survey (published on November 5, 2010), 51 percent of respondents said they expected some degree of notebook cannibalization from tablets. This is an important result because: (1) it’s a corporate survey, and tablets will likely have a more significant impact on the consumer market, and (2) netbooks represent an insignificant component of corporate PC purchases. We suspect December quarter retail data is likely to provide even more interesting tablet cannibalization data points.”

This analysis is similar to Gartner’s predictions that PC sales growth would be slowed due to the iPad and other tablets.

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