The iPad mini is Eating Away at Some Devices, But It’s Not What We Thought or Feared

Analysts predicted, and rightly so, that with the launch of the iPad mini, some people would opt for one of those over an iPad. While that’s turned out to be true to some extent, it’s not the iPad who should really be worried—it’s the Windows PC.

According to a Cowen & Co report, the iPad mini is replacing the iPad 4 to a degree, it’s really just capturing a market of consumers who were looking for a less expensive, and smaller, iPad to buy:

“The iPad mini creates more demand than it cannibalizes,” Cowen analyst Matthew Hoffman explained. “Since 52 percent of the mini intenders in our sample did not own a tablet of any type, we see it successfully positioned as likely to penetrate new entry-tier segments. … Mini will no doubt take some iPad “4” sales, but its low price also looks like an important tool to capture new consumers’ attention.”
From: AllThingsD

From the “watch your back” department is this chart:

Cowen mini 2

AllThingsD didn’t link to the Cowen & Co report so I can’t determine if “Windows PC” means any machine running Windows (desktop or laptop) or just desktop machines, that’s an important distinction in my mind. Replacing desktop machines points to a whole paradigm shift of the “post-PC era”. Because while I love my tablets, and leave my MacBook Pro at home as much as I can if I go out and about—I still need a “real” computer for some tasks (not to mention store things). So if tablets are replacing desktops then we’re talking about people deciding that they really don’t need all the fuss and muss of a big computer. A tablet for email, Facebook, etc is just dandy. On the other hand if the we’re talking about laptops and desktops we’re looking at a shift in the portable market. The “I’m really sick of lugging this darn laptop around” segment figuring out that a tablet will work just fine on the go—if you have a machine to go back to at home/office.

I really wish we has a little more insight into that 42% figure. The Devil is in the details and this is a detail that could mean a lot of things depending on how you slice it.

So, to you…

Did you get a mini? Did it replace another device or is it augmenting your other tech?


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  • Morten Rand-Hendriksen

    An iPad Mini replaces a Windows PC in the same way a Big Wheel Trike replaces a car. They are two entirely different things meant to perform entirely different tasks. When I see survey results like this I’m left wondering what the original questions were. No sane person would replace any PC (Mac, Windows or otherwise) with a tablet unless the tasks they were doing were mundane at best. If the question was “what device you currently have will see less use because of your purchase of an iPad Mini”, the statistic is likely correct. If the question was “What device will you get rid of because of your purchase of an iPad Mini” as the article suggests, the statistic is likely completely false.

    • Tris Hussey

      Agreed Morten, we don’t know what the question was or if they consolidated answers or what. I don’t think any would replace a tablet with their home computer. I know both my wife and my mom use their laptops less, but less isn’t “not at all”.

  • Benny

    PC should fight for there place in top or the line

  • Paris Paraskeva

    no sane person would prefer a low end laptop or desktop around their house instead of a an iPad!

    Most consumers use thier pcs for browsing, Facebook, Skype causal gaming etc. For them which is the vast majory of consumers. the iPad will serve them much better in and out of thier house.

    Now prosumers on the other hand will certianly keep thier desktop and laptop and grab a tablet to complement it so they can do certian task on the iPad and make their life easier. certain things can only do or its better doen on a pc/mac anyway for them.

    I think people are tired by the low end laptops or desktop that break too easy and windows pcs that can easily get filled with 100 toolbars and all sorts of crap that either break their pc of make it unusual too often.

  • NoOneCares

    There was likely no option to indicate that it wasn’t replacing anything – or the wording lead them to think they needed to pick something other than “none of the above”. I can easily see it replacing netbooks or ultra-portables.

    • Marin

      Exactly what I was thinking.. Netbooks.