It is almost certain that the soaring popularity of iPad will kill netbook, but does Apple's (Nasdaq: AAPL) flagship gizmo hurt its own family products?

Apple's iPad is a tablet computer marketed as a platform for audio and visual media such as books, periodicals, movies, music, and games, as well as web content. Apple released the iPad in April 2010, and sold 3 million of the devices in 80 days.

Steve Jobs may have erred in marketing the iPad as an all-round device that does almost what an iPod and Macbook can do. This could spell trouble for Apple, because if the iPad can be a laptop, an iPhone, an e-reader and a music player -- then one may not feel the necessity to buy other Apple devices available in the market.

More than its rivals, the trend could hurt Apple itself as many of the gadget-makers' sales are to repeat customers' preferences.

According to a survey by Alphawise, Morgan Stanley's internal research team, and investment bank Piper Jaffray, almost 44 percent of iPad owners would not be buying a notebook, and 24 percent said the notebook they wouldn't buy would have been a Macbook, while 20 percent said it would have been a PC.

Meanwhile, a recent survey conducted by Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster on 448 Ipad buyers found that 99 percent of respondents had not considered either an iPod Touch or iPhone before making the purchase.

However, stock analysis firm Trefis said so far iPad tablet does not appear to be cannibalizing the company's PC sales. Trefis expects Apple to sell around 10 million iPads in all of 2010.

Apple recently said it gained 4.19 percent of PC market in the second quarter of 2010, up from 3.49% in the first quarter. Apple competes with Dell and HP in the PC market.

As Apple's gained PC market share in the second quarter of this year, the iPad launch dominated media coverage of Apple. Trefis sees potential for Mac sales to increase even more rapidly than its estimates.

"Considering Apple's robust PC market performance, it does not appear that many consumers are choosing iPads over Apple Macintosh notebook or desktop PCs. We believe this could be due to the halo effect that the ballyhooed iPad launch created around all Apple products, including Macs," Trefis said.

Despite drop in global PC shipments, Apple witnessed 18 percent sequential growth in Mac sales for the second quarter of 2010.

In the second quarter of 2010, Apple sold 3.47 million Macs, up from the 2.94 million Macs sold in the first quarter. On the other hand, worldwide PC shipments declined to 82.87 million in the second quarter from 84.37 million in the first quarter of 2010, according to Gartner, a tech market research firm.

Trefis said it estimates that Macintosh PCs constitute 14 percent of its $337 price estimate for Apple's stock and noted that there could be an upside of 2 percent to the $337 Trefis price estimate for Apple's stock if Apple's notebook share increases to 10 percent and its desktop share increases to 8 percent by 2016.

"We expect Mac notebooks to increase their market share from 5.04 percent in 2009 to 8.74 percent by the end of the Trefis forecast period," the firm said and forecasts Apple's desktop market share to increase to 6.49 percent by 2016 from 2.69 percent in 2009.

However, it remains to be seen whether iPad will become a cannibalistic threat to the Mac in the long term as the iPod put forth a similar halo effect on Mac sales, and the iPhone cannibalized a significant portion of iPod sales.

International Business Times, The Global Business News Leader

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