The living room PC is here: the iPad

While Apple’s iPad (s AAPL) falls into the mobile device category, “mobile” doesn’t necessarily mean it’s being used while on the go. In fact, new research conducted by McKinsey & Company found that most iPads never leave their owners’ houses, and are used most in the living room, for many of the things previously done on a home computer. Though Microsoft (s MSFT), Google (s GOOG), Sony (s SNE) and others through the years have been vying to be the “living room PC,” Apple, at least right now, is winning that battle.
McKinsey came up with this data during a recent survey of 15,000 consumers in 15 countries, undertaken to create a profile of what the firm calls the “iConsumer.” Bertil Chappuis, principal for McKinsey & Company’s Silicon Valley office, presented his findings on Tuesday morning at Forbes’ Techonomy conference (s twx) in Tuscon, Ariz.
Apple has sold about 40 million iPads since 2010. Of the iPad owners McKinsey surveyed, it found that 62 percent never take their iPad outside their house. In other words, it’s being used as just another home computer, like a replacement laptop for tasks such as watching video or browsing the web. While the iPad is “finding its way into places in the home we didn’t have computing in the past,” the living room is where people use their iPad: 70 percent of usage takes place there.
Said Chappuis:

“The PC tried to get into the living room for 20 years. Well, it’s here.”

The side effect of iPad owners finding their iPad good enough for certain computing tasks at home is a delay in plans to buy a new PC. You can see that in the slowly declining PC sales over the last few quarters: By the end of this year, IDC expects worldwide PC shipments will have grown a measly 2.8 percent compared to 2010.

“Folks who have tablets are significantly delaying their purchases of PCs,” said Chappuis. “They’re not doing away with it — [the PC] has a role to play for a long time — but that delay of a purchase is having a very direct impact on unit volumes in the PC ecosystem.”

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