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iPad has halved laptop sales, claims Best Buy CEO (update: he meant netbooks)

Vlad Savov

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Well, the iPad is about one half of a laptop -- both in its form and functionality -- so it makes perfect sense that it'd chop laptop sales by 50 percent. We might be pulling your leg, but Best Buy CEO Brian Dunn isn't. The dude in charge of the yellow label empire has told the Wall Street Journal that his company's internal estimates indicate the iPad has eaten up as much as half of laptop PC market demand. In response to this perceived trend toward more portable gadgets, Brian's outfit is rearranging its inventory to include more e-readers, tablets and smartphones for this holiday season, while slimming down its selection of desktops and HDTVs. Moreover, new demo zones will be set up in-store to allow people to experience the wonders of Microsoft's Kinect and Sony's Move motion-controlled gaming solutions. So it looks like the future's coming, whether we like it or not.

Update: It did seem weird to us that the mighty laptop would be that vulnerable to the iPad, and sure enough, our queries with Best Buy were met by the following response:
"The paraphrase that was used in the WSJ wasn't really an accurate reflection of what Brian said to the reporter.

What Best Buy CEO Brian Dunn said was that we had no firm numbers, but that we speculated there was some replacement of netbooks by iPads going on. We did not provide specifics because we do not presently have the hard numbers on which to base those specifics."
So, Brian was not only talking about netbooks, but his words were exaggerated too. Phew, and we were just about to start selling our shares in Dell and HP. You can find his full clarification on this issue after the break.

Show full PR text
Statement: Reports of notebook, netbook sales declines grossly exaggerated

RICHFIELD, Minn., September 17, 2010 –In a statement today, Brian J. Dunn, CEO, Best Buy Co., Inc. (NYSE:BBY), likened recent rumors of a pending decline in notebook and netbook sales to a legendary Mark Twain-ism:

"The reports of the demise of these devices are grossly exaggerated," Dunn said. "While they were fueled in part by a comment in the Wall Street Journal that was attributed to me, they are not an accurate depiction of what we're currently seeing. In fact, we see some shifts in consumption patterns, with tablet sales being an incremental opportunity. And as we said during our recent earnings call, we believe computers will remain a very popular gift this holiday because of the very distinct and desirable benefits they offer consumers. That's why we intend to carry a broad selection of computing products and accessories to address the demand we anticipate this season."

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