Fire sale helps put HP TouchPad on top of non-Apple tablets sold in 2011

Fire sale helps put HP TouchPad on top of non-Apple tablets sold in 2011
According to data compiled by NPD Group, the HP TouchPad was the largest selling non-Apple tablet in the U.S. from January through October 2011. Of course, HP was able to achieve this position thanks to a $99 fire sale it held to clear out all of its inventory after the Palo Alto based manufacturer decided to stop building products that use the webOS software it obtained when the company purchased Palm.

HP controlled a 17% share of the Stateside tablet market for the first ten months of the year, narrowly surpassing Samsung. The Korean based manufacturer had a 16% slice of the U.S. tablet pie during the same period. ASUS was third with a 10% share while Motorola and Acer each held 9% of the market. RIM, with its BlackBerry PlayBook, failed to place in the top five. According to NPD, 76% of those who purchased a non-Apple tablet did not even consider the Apple iPad as a candidate.

On a sequential basis, sales for non-Apple tablets continued to improve sharply each quarter. For example. Q2 sales tripled those posted in the year's first quarter, while Q3 sales doubled those seen in the second quarter. For HP, though, the fire sale brought a hollow victory as the company had to write off $100 million to cover unsold tablets at locations like Best Buy.

So far this year, non-Apple U.S. tablet sales have amounted to $415 million, which rises to $700 million after accessories are included. There is a change in the tablet market with the recent launch of the Amazon Kindle Fire. There is speculation that PC markets like HP, Acer and Asus will slowly exit the tablet market next year to make way for companies that can offer content like Barnes and Noble, Amazon and Apple. With the Amazon Kindle Fire, the online retailer takes a hit on each tablet sold, but more than makes it up by selling content, cloud based services and apps.
While non-Apple tablet sales totaled 1.2 million units from January through October this year, the Apple iPad sold 11.2 million units worldwide in just the last three month quarter alone. Unfortunately, sales of Apple's tablet could not be broken down by region, but the point is still valid. With the holiday shopping season approaching, there is a good chance that Samsung could leapfrog over HP to grab the non-Apple U.S. tablet marketshare lead by the time the curtain falls on 2011.

source: NPDGroup via AppleInsider

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