Tablet computers: Analysts say iPad killing sales of Netbooks

Apple's iPad may mean certain doom for Netbook computers.

Two customers show their new iPad featuring 3G cellular connectivity.

Demand for netbooks has gradually declined of late, but Apple's unveiling of the iPad earlier this year may have put the final nail in the coffin for the small, underpowered notebooks, according to a recent research report.

Fortune reports that proprietary research from Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty shows that netbook demand reached an all-time high last July when netbook sales grew an impressive 641 percent compared to the previous year.

Netbook growth in January of this year was only 68 percent, however, and in April, sales barely increased — by about 5 percent.

Huberty attributes the rapid decline in netbook interest to Apple's announcement of the iPad, which went on sale January 27.

Interestingly, Huberty's research shows iPads may also be having a negative effect on consumer demand for other devices, including Apple's iPod touch and e-book readers such as Amazon's Kindle.

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