Is the Laptop Dead? Best Buy CEO Says No Way

Dennis Faas's picture

With the rise of Apple's thin n' flashy iPad and a slew of Windows 7-powered rivals, one might think the common laptop's day had passed. Not so says the CEO of big box electronics retailer Best Buy, who notes that such ideas are "grossly exaggerated."

In a statement on Best Buy's site late last week, company CEO Brian Dunn offered his opinion of reports that the Apple iPad's impressive sales were taking their toll on the growth of notebook computers.

"The reports of the demise of these devices are grossly exaggerated," Dunn said, adding that predictions that laptop sales will continue to decline are "not an accurate depiction of what we're currently seeing." (Source:

iPad, Apple Store Could Hurt Best Buy's Growth

Dunn has a reason to fear the iPad. While Best Buy sells the device, so too does Apple. Keep in mind that there aren't giant stores devoted to selling devices from laptop makers Hewlett-Packard and Toshiba.

Simply put: there's a better chance that someone buying an iPad is going to visit an Apple store, because they know the staff is familiar with the devices they're selling. The same can't quite be said for Best Buy's non-commission based, youthful workforce.

Dunn has played down the rise of the iPad, stating "In fact, we see some shifts in consumption patterns, with tablet sales being an incremental opportunity."

For Best Buy, that means carrying all kinds of different devices into the near and distant future. "We intend to carry a broad selection of computing products and accessories to address the demand we anticipate this season," Best Buy's CEO added.

What's Going to Give?

The rise of the iPad is nothing to be dismissed, however. Sales are now encroaching on those of netbooks, the slim and light mini-notebooks with minimal gaming or graphics design potential, but enough 'oomph' to power a web surfing or word processing session. (Source:

It's now clear that neither market is about to go away (a reported 70 million netbooks have been sold to date), so it leaves one wondering: what's going to give out first? The desktop, the notebook, the smartphone -- or our wallets?

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