The iPad is wreaking havoc on the personal-computer market.
Hewlett-Packard Co. (HPQ)’s consumer PC sales plunged 23 percent last quarter, and the company lopped $1 billion off its annual sales forecast. And while rival Dell Inc. (DELL) beat analysts’ estimates because of corporate demand, its sales to consumers slumped 7.5 percent. More than 70 million tablets like the Apple Inc. (AAPL) iPad will be sold in 2011, a total that will balloon to 246 million in three years, Jefferies & Co. said yesterday.
“You’re walking into a buzz saw,” Jane Snorek, a senior research analyst at Nuveen Asset Management in Milwaukee, said of the iPad. Her firm manages more than $200 billion in assets. “The tablet is going to replace at least the home computer.”
At 7.3-inches across with a color screen and an array of popular downloadable games like “Angry Birds,” applications for watching movies and reading magazines, and software for word processing and spreadsheets, the iPad has siphoned off more PC sales than analysts and executives predicted.