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iPads complement, don’t replace, your primary computer

A recent study by market research firm Technology Business Research (TBR) has confirmed what I’ve said since the iPad’s introduction: its a complement to your primary computer (for me, an iMac), not a replacement. The tablet is good at many things, but it can’t handle all the chores a desktop can.

TBR finds that the iPad will displace many consumers’ secondary computers, creating a third major device category for personal computing and connectivity. The study points to the success of the Apple tablet as a demonstration that the consumer seeks quick, easy e-mail and web access via a device that features more portability than a laptop while providing instant-on and more usability than a smartphone.

Although laptops will lose some ground to tablets, TBR believes the market will support all three device styles for computing and connectivity, including the laptop, tablet and smartphone. And, in fact, analyst Shaw Wu of Kaufman Bros. told clients on Monday that the iPad appears to be “slightly cannibalizing” low-end MacBook sales. Otherwise, Apple is poised for a strong quarter in Mac sales, with numbers indicating the company could sell a record 3.8 million in the September quarter.

In other words, the Apple tablet isn’t hurting sells of MacBook Pros, Mac Pros, iMacs or Mac minis. I’d be surprised if it was.

As I’ve said before, I find the iPad to be a great, portable device for media and content consumption, but less so for content creation. That’s what I use my iMac for 99% of the time. And I have a feeling that most folks are like me in this regard.

— Dennis Sellers

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