iPad 2 Helping Apple "Usurp" Consumer PC Market

Sales of personal computers worldwide are likely to be sluggish in the first few months of 2011 as the cannibalisation process by Apple's iPad & iPad 2 tablets may accelerate.

An analyst report published by Christ Whitmore of Deutsche Bank, says that the "astounding growth" of the iPad 2 caused him to slash his growth expectation in the PC market from 9 per cent to a mere 4 per cent.

He upped his estimates for tablet sales from 40 million to 45 million and reckons that by 2012, around 70 million tablets will be sold compared to its original estimate of 60 million units.

Apple is likely to be the big winner in the short term with an estimated 35 million iPad and iPad 2 models being purchased in 2011 alone.

The company has already confirmed that it will be selling the device in more countries than before; this, Whitmore says, may cause tablets to cannibalise nearly a third of the PC market with the likes of Acer, Dell or HP being the biggest losers.

Speaking of iPad rivals, the analyst says that he remains skeptical "whether the likes of HP, Dell, Motorola, Samsung, and RIM etc can close the competitive gap on iPad 2" although he expects a number of new tablets to come by the end of the year.