HP tops Samsung in not-the-iPad tablet race

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Your number two tablet - the HP TouchPad (Image: HP)

Yes, turns out HP is the new second-place winner in the tablet market, beating Samsiung with a small margin. This is according to a new NPD report for US non-iPad tablets sales between January and October, which saw 1.2 million non-iPad tablets sold.

HP managed to capture 17 percent of the market, according to NPD’s report. You can attribute HP’s success was because of the firesale it had on the TouchPad – which it reduced to $99 to offload the stock across the country (and in fact worldwide). HP has not officially confirmed that it will make any more of the tablet, so you can expect this to be a short-term victory against Samsung.

Samsung, in the meantime, managed to grab only 16 percent of the non-iPad market. This is despite the fact that it has been in the market longer, and its Galaxy Tab tablets have been one of the more popular Android-powered tablets.

Following Samsung was Asus (10%), Motorola (9%) and Acer (9%). Motorola has already announced its successor to the Motorola XOOM – despite its foray into tablets has not produced the sales it were expecting. You can expect everyone else to announce new tablets this year in order to try and capture a foothold in the tablet market and stave off competition from Apple.

Are people looking at alternatives?

According to NPD’s Stephen Baker, people are looking at the alternatives. In a press statement, he said, “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.”

This effectively means that they know the tablets are out there, and that many are weighing up the options. The iPad, while its popular, may not be for everyone. However, what is more important in that statement is the other 24 percent. They did consider the iPad – and it may be the pricing that could have attracted them to buy a non-iPad tablet.

And it seems pricing is now the key. HP’s TouchPad sold like hotcakes on a $99 price point, while the Kindle Fire – which is essentially a media consumption “tablet” – is also doing well on a US$199 price point.

The likelihood of the others making their pricing a tad cheaper, however, is not going to happen in the near future. Tablets are still a small market and, unlike laptops and smartphones, it is a small crowd that is making tablets. Though, it might change as it appears many are jumping into this market.