First time Apple product buyers spell trouble for PC world

Millions of new iPad buyers are getting their first exposure to Apple products. This could be bad for PC makers, Microsoft, and other Apple competitors.
Written by James Kendrick, Contributor

The NPD Group recently published that one in four iPad buyers are first-time Apple product buyers. That means that millions of consumers have recently entered the world of Apple, and that could mean trouble for its competitors.

This is significant when you look at the satisfaction rate of iPad owners. Fully 98 percent of new iPad owners are satisfied, most significantly so, with the new iPad. That is a staggering number of happy owners.

As Kevin Tofel of GigaOM conjects, these first-time Apple buyers could lead to purchases of other Apple products. Consumers happy with purchases tend to try other products from the company that makes them, and that could spell trouble for PC makers down the road. Tofel also points out that these iPad owners may realize they don't need a PC at home at all:

Or even worse: Folks may consider not buying a PC at all and simply use an iPad for more computing tasks.

That makes sense, and could spell even bigger trouble for Microsoft and the upcoming Windows 8. The millions of new iPad owners could very well end up picking up a MacBook for their next computer. I hear from folks regularly who have considered themselves anti-Apple, but after getting an iPad decided to go all-in with a Mac. Most of these new Mac owners are quite happy with the move, and many say they wish they had done so long ago.

In addition to the new exposure to the Apple world triggered by consumers buying the iPad, the push into the enterprise may accelerate the process. Companies are already deploying iPads in the workplace, which in turn will expose other non-Apple customers to the technology. We may see this exposure trigger even more sales of Apple products, and to a group of traditional Windows users.

Apple tends to be a disruptor in business segments in which it succeeds, and we may be seeing the tip of the iceberg of the disruption the iPad will cause. This may ripple beyond the tablet space, and start defections in not only the smartphone segment but also the significant PC world.

Image credit: Apple

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