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Report: iPad, tablets to cannibalize 'Wintel' laptops

Tablet growth will eat into laptop sales, according to research notes by Barclays Capital.

Sales of Windows-Intel laptops will take a hit because of iPad and tablet growth, according to research notes released by Barclays Capital.

Dell's Streak uses Google's Android operating system and a processor based on an ARM design. No Intel or Microsoft here.
Dell's Streak uses Google's Android operating system and a processor based on an ARM design. No Intel or Microsoft here. Dell

Sales of the iPad and similar tablets will jump next year, with some of that heady growth coming at the expense of Netbooks and low-end notebooks, The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday, citing a series of research notes sent out by Barclays Capital.

Tablet sales are forecast to reach at least 15 million units this year, jumping to 28 million in 2011, Barclays said. "We believe the initial phase of the tablet surge will cannibalize a portion of the notebook category, particularly a chunk of the netbook market and low-end notebook market," according to Barclays analyst Ben Reitzes.

Right now, almost all of the tablet growth is coming from Apple's iPad, which may sell as many as 10 million units this year and is forecast to sell more than twice as many next year. Other vendors will also contribute to sales. Dell is slated to bring out a few different tablet designs in addition to the small Streak tablet, and Hewlett-Packard is also expected to follow suit with at least one tablet.

A report earlier this year by Avian Securities forecast Netbooks rising from 37 million in 2009 to 47 million in 2010. Almost all Netbooks use Intel processors and Microsoft's Windows operating system as do a large portion of notebooks sold worldwide. (Avian expects notebook sales to increase from 140 million to 180 million in 2010.)

Because of the expected surge in tablet sales, however, in 2011, more consumer-based personal computing will shift to devices using Google operating systems, such as Android, and ARM processors and away from Windows-Intel laptops, Barclays said. This is in addition, of course, to the popular iPad that runs Apple's OS.

ARM processors are already used in Apple's iPad and Dell's Streak. These power-efficient chips are expected to power a number of future tablets. ARM chip suppliers include Texas Instruments, Qualcomm, Freescale, and Nvidia.