iPad: No cannibals on this island

October 1, 2010, 4:04 PM UTC

But a pair of surveys finds patterns could spell trouble down the line

Photo: Apple Inc.

Stephen Baker, vice president of industry analysis at the NPD Group, doesn’t buy the theory that Apple’s (AAPL) iPad is to blame for this year’s slow-down in netbook sales.

“It had nothing to do with the iPad,” he says. “Sales growth had already started to trail off [before the iPad was released], and it wasn’t such a great platform anyway.” See here.

His skepticism about the iPad as high-tech cannibal is underscored by an NPD survey released Friday that found that 87% of iPad purchases were what he calls “incremental” — bought just because people wanted them, not to replace another device.

But paired with an NPD survey conducted three months earlier, some troublesome patterns emerge.

According to Baker, the early adopters — those who bought their iPad within two months of its release — were:

  • 44% more likely to watch YouTube videos
  • 50% more likely to watch movies
  • 60% more likely to watch TV shows
  • 38% more likely to be reading e-books

“That type of iPad usage behavior is a dagger at the heart of the usage model for netbooks and secondary notebook computers,” Baker writes in his NPD Blog.

“Watching video on a device like this has always been a personal activity, and since 20% of users’ time with the iPad was spent with it in bed, only slightly less than the 25% of time consumers spent with their iPad in a stationary surface mode, it is obvious that the iPad form factor makes people feel warm and cuddly.”

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[Follow Philip Elmer-DeWitt on Twitter @philiped]