Ever since Apple released the iPad it has been a phenomenal success and now it seems that it has become one of the most powerful threats to the long established market for laptops and netbooks. The iPad seems to represent the best of both worlds for many people: more portable than a laptop and more powerful than a netbook (at-least in terms of user-interface).

The latest results show that worldwide shipments for laptops and networks in the first quarter of 2011 were a mere 6.4 million units. In comparison, Apple surged ahead with 4.7 million units while the competitors like Samsung’s Galaxy Tab sold around 40,000 in the UK. In context, laptop sales in the UK were at 1.8 million, down 7%. Meanwhile, notebook sales were at 275,000, 30 percent year on year.

Analysts argue that while Apple dominance is surely set to fade over the long term as rival Android and RIM devices become more competitive, the existing laptop and notebook markets will continue to decline. While we do not expect to see the disappearance of the laptop or the notebook anytime soon, it is certainly clear that the tablet PC is set to dominate virtually every computing experience. Meanwhile all eyes are on what Apple is going to do next.