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Wednesday, November 14, 2012, 01:09 pm PT (04:09 pm ET)

iPad mini carving new demand from the hide of PC sales more than existing iPads

More than half of iPad mini buyers are new to iPad, and more bought it to replace a PC than an existing iPad says a new study that indicates Apple's latest iPad is still creating new demand rather that replacing the company's existing sales.

While many pundits have predicted that a substantial portion (20-50 percent) of Apple's iPad mini sales would take a bite out of the company's existing, full sized iPad sales, a report by Wall Street Journal blogger John Paczkowski indicates evidence that supports Apple's claim that new sales are occurring largely at the expense of conventional Windows PCs.

Paczkowski cited a survey by Cowen and Co. analyst Matthew Hoffman, which indicated that 52 percent of those who said they plan to buy an iPad mini have never owned a tablet before.

iPad mini sales


Just 16.6 percent of that same group said they'd be replacing another device with the iPad mini, and among those, while 29 percent said it would replace an iPad, 42 percent said it would replace a Windows PC. Another 13 percent said it would replace a Kindle Fire.

iPad mini sales


"The iPad mini creates more demand than it cannibalizes," Hoffman stated, adding, "we see it successfully positioned as likely to penetrate new entry-tier segments."

He also noted, "Mini will no doubt take some iPad 4 sales, but its low price also looks like an important tool to capture new consumers’ attention."

Early last week, Apple announced initial weekend sales of 3 million new iPads, without breaking out sales details between the full sized iPad 4 and the iPad mini.

"Customers around the world love the new iPad mini and fourth generation iPad," Apple's chief executive Tim Cook said. "We set a new launch weekend record and practically sold out of iPad minis. We're working hard to build more quickly to meet the incredible demand."

Apple has only just now started shipping cellular versions of the new iPads, which in addition to working on mobile 3G and LTE networks, also supply GPS features even without a data contract in place.

The runaway success of Apple's iPad has had a brutal impact on Windows PC makers globally, but hasn't seemed to hurt Apple's Mac sales, which continue to outpace the growth of generic PCs. Sales of iPads have eclipsed the PC sales of the top manufacturers, and forced Microsoft to both shift Windows 8 toward a tablet orientation and port Windows to the more efficient ARM architecture in a bid to compete with Apple in a market where the software giant hasn't done well in the past.
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