Is the iPad killing netbook sales? Probably not

Chris Foresman of arstechnica writes: "Inexpensive, compact netbooks were all the rage during the recent economic downturn, and the product segment enjoyed explosive growth over that period. However, that growth rate started falling heavily at the end of 2009; in April 2010, netbook sales only grew a mere 5 percent. Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty says the iPad is to blame for the stalled growth, but it seems more likely that netbooks have merely saturated their niche in the market.

Huberty noted in a recent report to clients that netbook sales growth plummeted after Apple announced the iPad in late January. She also looked at a March survey suggesting that 44 percent of US customers were planning to buy an iPad. Huberty concluded that they were now planning on getting an iPad instead of a new notebook or netbook, though we think the timing is more coincidental than anything else. "

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