Tablets a Minor Threat to PCs — For Now
The tablet may someday do to the notebook what the notebook did to the desktop — but not for a few more years, at least. The tablet is still considered an incremental purchase by most, according to a new survey from Baird Equity Research that suggests the device is currently but a minor threat to the traditional PC.
Of the 1,114 consumers Baird surveyed, only six percent claimed they could do without a PC today. Another 11 percent felt they might be able to do without one in the future. And a full 83 percent said they can’t forgo one now and don’t think they could do so in the future.
More interestingly, 74 percent of current and potential tablet owners believe they cannot do without a PC, either. Taken together, Baird says, those two stats support its theory that “tablets today are largely incremental devices.”
But, of course, that’s tablets “today” — in other words, early tablets with nascent app ecosystems. But these things will evolve, and quickly, too. They already have — look at the iPad. In its first year, the device brought us multitouch document editing with Pages, Numbers and Keynote. A year later, it brought audio/video editing with GarageBand and iMovie. And once tablets have the apps and power to perform more of the crucial tasks we use our PCs for today, that “incremental” designation might not fit so well.
Speaking of the iPad, Baird’s survey, like many others before it, found the device to be dominating the tablet market. Approximately 93 percent of the current tablet owners Baird surveyed use iPads, and 94.5 percent of potential tablet buyers say they’d like to. Finally, 98 percent of current iPad owners said their next tablet will be another iPad.