Best Buy: Apple iPads caused a 50% drop in netbook sales

Best Buy has publicly clarified what type of sales impact the popular Apple iPad tablet has had on the company’s PC and notebook/netbook sales, as the electronics store continues to update its product catalog.

Best Buy CEO Brian Dunn admitted that iPad sales have cut into about 40 to 50% of overall netbook sales.

Best Buy: Apple iPads caused a 50% drop in netbook sales

There was concern among some netbook makers that the iPad and other tablets would cannibalize their sales — especially as Best Buy decided to stock the iPad in about half of their stores. Since then, iPad units have flown off the shelves and Best Buy carefully considered how to roll out the popular tablet to more stores.

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Prior to its release, Apple said the iPad would have nimble pricing, and some retailers said the biggest victim could be iPod Touch sales. However, it was predicted by Morgan Stanley that tablet sales would overtake netbook sales by 2012, as the iPad and other tablets steal netbook customers.

As Best Buy prepares for what it hopes will be a busy 2010 holiday shopping season, the retailer expects tablets to be some of its best sellers. Meanwhile, the company also is interested in bringing Research In Motion’s BlackBerry PlayBook tablet to its stores, as the top electronics retailer gives attention to multiple competing products.

I like Best Buy’s strategy to offer the iPad, BlackBerry PlayBook, Amazon Kindle, and other popular consumer gadgets to customers. Consumer holiday spending from November to January is expected to rise a modest 2 percent, although spending may be limited due to a bad economy and high unemployment.

Office store Staples has announced interest in selling the Kindle while the company looks to better compete with Best Buy, Office Max, Office Depot, and other retailers. It’s an interesting move that Staples will sell the Kindle starting later in 2010, but I’m unsure if that will help attract people to a local Staples store.

Would you consider an iPad or another tablet as a replacement for a netbook?

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