Apple is already shipping more iPads than some single netbook manufacturers. The company sold about 15 million iPads in 2010, while Asus shipped just 6 million of its popular Eee PC netbooks during that same time. Analysts have also predicted big gains for Apple's iPad 2 with as many as 500,000 sold in the first three days of the product's launch. Apple has not announced any official iPad 2 sales numbers.
Glimmer of Hope
The one advantage a Chrome OS netbook could have over tablets would be pricing, if recent rumors of a $200 Asus device turn out to be correct. The cheapest iPad currently costs $500 and Motorola recently announced its Android-based Wi-Fi only Xoom tablet will sell for $600. If Asus can launch a Chrome OS netbook that costs half as much as an iPad, that may be enough to woo people away from touch-based tablets and back to a more traditional laptop device.