NPD has concluded in a recent study that the TouchPad, HP’s last webOS product for the foreseeable future, turned out to be the second-most popular tablet in the U.S. so far this year. While it might seem crazy that a dead platform managed to beat out a dearth of Android competition (namely from Samsung), the $100 fire sale following HP’s announcement to cease webOS development obviously helped out a lot. NPD figures HP claimed 17% of the U.S. tablet market share between January and October 2011, followed up by Samsung at 16%, ASUS at 10%, Motorola at 9%, and Acer at 9%.
Of course, the iPad took the lion’s share of the tablet market, seeing 11.1 million units sold just last quarter, while everyone else managed to scrape together 1.2 million U.S. sales since January according to NPD. Just because Apple set the trend don’t think that the iPad will hold onto that throne indefinitely, though. NPD’s Stephen Baker says:
“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.”
The Kindle Fire and the BlackBerry PlayBook are both aiming for the $200 bracket for the holidays, and will likely do well enough at that price point, but seeing as the TouchPad offered a bigger screen at half the cost, it’s easy to see why it beat out the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 this year. If cost is the clincher for consumers to get involved with tablets, will the Kindle Fire be able to close out 2011 with a bang, and will the BlackBerry PlayBook be able to come along for the ride on the basis of price matching alone? Personally, I always thought $500 was a bit steep for the limited utility of a tablet, but I could see a lower price point being justifiable. What about you guys?