Best Buy believes the iPad killed its laptop sales this year, dropping them 50 percent.  (Source: Gizmodo)

The company announced plans to begin selling the popular tablet at all of its stores by the end of the month.  (Source: AP Photo)
So much for the notion that the iPad isn't cannabilizing traditional sales

Best Buy Chief Executive Brian Dunn had good news to report on Tuesday.  The U.S.'s largest electronics retailer had just seen a 61 percent year-to-year jump in profit.  However, the news wasn't quite so good for certain segments of the market and the gains only came thanks to big adjustments on Best Buy's part.

The Richfield, Minnesota retailer's CEO reports that Apple's red hot tablet computer, the iPad, is estimated to have cut laptop sales by 50 percent.  Best Buy is responding to the tablet demand by expanding its sales of the iPad.  The iPad is currently sold at some of Best Buy's retail locations, but the company plans to expand the distribution to all 1,093 of its U.S. stores by Sept. 26.

The company is also going to start selling's new 3G-ready Kindle this holiday season.  The Kindle device currently is available direct from and Best Buy retails a few accessories for it.

Stephen Baker, the chief electronics analyst for market researcher NPD Group Inc shares his views on the changing market, remarking, "It's a very different environment now.  The real cool stuff now will be the tablets, e-readers and probably the higher-end digital cameras."

The shift to mobile devices hasn't just impacted laptop sales.  The shifting consumer interest towards smart phones and tablets appears to also be impacting TV sales.  Despite new developments like 3D TV, consumer interest in purchasing TVs appears to be waning.  

Television sales drew "low-double digit" declines compared with last year, despite a modest recovery of the U.S. economy.  The consumer market appears increasingly apathetic to television in the face of increasingly attractive mobile devices.  In the years leading up to the recession, sales dropped by 20 to 25 percent a year.

Some other companies are looking to strike the mobile electronics market while the iron is still hot.  The office goods retailer Staples announced plans this week to start selling the Amazon Kindle during the fall season.  Staples Chief Executive Ronald Sargent comments, "I don't want to be a consumer electronics company and start selling big-screen TVs, but we are looking broadly.  Most of our customers are small business owners and the Kindle is something they can enjoy while traveling."

Amid this shifting landscape you have to give Apple credit for its role in shifting the electronics landscape.  After all, while a market shift towards small portable computers was long prophesied, it was Apple's iPhone and the Apple's iPad that transformed the smartphone and tablet markets from relatively dull corporate fare (e.g. BlackBerries and pre-iPad tablets) into top consumer electronics products.  

On the other hand, Apple is now finding its enviable position in the U.S. smartphone market under attack.  Despite continuing to post large iPhone-driven profits, Apple has been losing ground to Google's Android, and according to some reports has already been passed in the U.S.  Now the real question is whether Apple learned from this lesson and defend challenges to its tablet market share by fresh players.

"Folks that want porn can buy an Android phone." -- Steve Jobs

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