iPad eats into laptop sales

There's no denying that Apple's iPad is a successful product, but claims that it's forging a new market might be somewhat off the mark - instead, it seems it's eating away at an existing one.

The claims come from Best Buy chief executive Brian Dunn, speaking to The Wall Street Journal, who quoted internal estimates from the retail giant that show the iPad is responsible for eating away at the sales of regular laptops.

The figures presented by Dunn suggest that sales of the iPad are directly responsible for a dip in laptop sales of as much as 50 per cent - demonstrating that, despite its limitations and restrictions, many consumers see the iPad as a real alternative to a traditional computer.

Despite the bad news for laptop manufacturers, Best Buy is dedicated to helping Apple achieve its aim of global domination. The company has confirmed that it will expand sales of the iPad to all of its US stores, with Dunn stating that it's an attractive item for his company to sell because "people are willing to disproportionately spend for these devices," meaning it's an easier sell and provides greater profit compared to traditional computing devices.

Indeed, Best Buy has done well from the growing demand for increasingly advanced and decreasingly sized computing gadgets, with a spike in profit largely attributed to sales of smartphones, including - surprise, surprise - Apple's recently-launched iPhone 4.

The figures offered by Dunn are from the chain's US stores. It isn't yet known whether a similar effect has been noticed in the small number of UK Best Buy stores, or indeed elsewhere in the retail industry.