Sales of Apples iPad have now soared past the 3 million mark, less than one month after Apple CEO Steve Jobs announcement May 31st of 2 million iPads sold in under 60 days.
Apple managed to accomplish both feats despite US and international shipment delays, blamed by supply chain experts at iSuppli to both a particular bottleneck in iPad manufacturing and generally tight supplies in the components industry.
What might the rise of the iPad mean to other types of PCs? The jury is still out on that question. Major technology analyst firms such as Forrester and Gartner are now projecting that the iPad and other tablets will ultimately outsell netbook PCs. Gartner recently maintained that, buoyed by the iPad, tablet sales will surge to 10.5 million in 2010.
In another report, Kay Huberty, a financial analyst at Morgan Stanley suggested that the iPads launch is partly responsible for a current slowdown in netbook sales.
Huberty noted that year-over-year growth in netbook sales fell from +45 percent year-over-year for the first quarter of 2010 to -13 percent for April, the month when the iPad started shipping.
Yet another report, published by Retrevo, found that 70 percent of people whod been planning to buy a netbook had delayed the purchase due to the iPads announcement, and that 30 percent of them ultimately bought an iPad instead.
At the moment, the iPad still lacks a hard keyboard, a factor that might be serve as a decision point for some users. However, some experts now predict that iPad sales will get another shot in the arm if wireless keyboards for the iPad ship, as expected, during the 2010 holiday season.
Still, it could be that, despite the iPads stellar sales success so far, the end is not near for other categories of PCs, not even for netbooks.
In her report, Sarah Rotman Epps, a Forrester Research analyst, maintained that tablets wont start outselling netbooks until 2012.
Interestingly, also according to Epps, into the future, most Internet users will probably have more than one computing device in their homes and desktops will remain the most preferred system for consumers in comparison to other PCs.