All hail the TouchPad
, the second most popular tablet in the universe! Wait, what? Believe it or not (and we wouldn't blame you if you didn't), Hewlett-Packard
has sold more tablets so far in 2011 than any other company, save for Apple
, according to market research firm The NPD Group. Of course, HP unintentionally 'cheated' to get there by discontinuing its TouchPad and selling off remaining inventory in a $99 (16GB) and $149 (32GB) fire sale, but the fact that HP killed off its webOS hardware division only makes this all the more remarkable.
"If you look at the tablet market without Apple there are a number of high-profile brands vying for that number two spot," said Stephen Baker, vice president of industry analysis at NPD. "According to NPD’s Consumer Tracking Service, 76 percent of consumers who purchased a non-Apple tablet didn’t even consider the iPad, an indication that a large group of consumers are looking for alternatives, and an opportunity for the rest of the market to grow their business."
HP slipped into second place by claiming a 17 percent share of the tablet market, enough to edge out Samsung (No. 3) with 16 percent. Asus
(No. 4) snagged 10 percent of the market, and Motorola
(No. 5) grabbed a 9 percent slice of the pie that's dominated by Apple (No. 1).
Tablet makers take note, there's definitely a market for non-iPad tablets, you just have to find the right price point. It will be interesting to see if either Amazon (Kindle Fire, $199) or Barnes & Noble (Nook Tablet, $249) have done that.