This makes no sense; if anything, phones and laptops are a more likely cause
1. Where is the evidence that the Ipad is responsible? Have netbook numbers in total fallen? Also note that correlation is not causation. If it is due to other products (and not simply market saturation), I would suspect that the continued improvement in power of smartphones from Nokia and other companies is a far bigger factor. Phones sell way more than the Ipad or any tablet. Speaking from personal experience: although I do now have a netbook, I bought it much later than I would have normally, due to my Nokia phone being good enough for most times when I'm travelling. There's also the point that most people have a need for a phone (hence buying a netbook is an additional cost). With tablets, it's a choice of a tablet or netbook - why would the device with less features at a higher cost win?
ElReg!comments!Pierre makes a good point also about competition from ultra-portable laptops. What was so special about the first netbooks in 2007 was not just their size, but their low cost. At that time, you had to pay a premium to get a small laptop. Now you can get small low cost laptops much more powerful than netbooks (typically 11", versus 10" or less for netbooks - personally I went for the smaller netbook, but I can see that many people would find an 11" a better choice). Have laptop numbers fallen?
2. And why is being third place bad? When Apple reach third place in a market, we get a fanfare of articles about how wonderful they are.
3. Note how these companies are selling millions per quarter. But half a million of a brand new release of a product that's received loads of coverage in the media is impressive?
I agree with the comments. It's sad that even articles that have nothing to do with Apple, still have to have an obligtary mention. It's like product placement.
Giles Jones: I can take notes on a netbook. What's the point in spending more on a tablet, simply to turn it back into being like a netbook? And recording audio is much slower to skim through to find a particular part. Not to mention being useless for when the lecturer writes down material.
tommy060289: "The truth is, net books are crap, slow and underpowered"
And how powerful is the Ipad? When people say netbooks are underpowered and slow, they're being compared to full laptop PCs. I wasn't aware tablets were any better - worse, in fact.
"On the other hand, I have a decent laptop for serious work and I take my iPad round with me at university as it is much easier to carry round then any laptop"
Oh I see - so your wonderful Ipad isn't up to the job, and you need a laptop for any serious work. So why not have a netbook and a laptop?
Sure, there are some people who will a niche for things smaller than a netbook - but then the Android tablets are better here, as they are smaller (not to mention phones).
What if you're out and need something with more power, and all you have is your Ipad?