HP is the No. 2 Tablet Maker… Amazing!

HP discontinues it’s tablet sales, but guess what? Technically they are currently number two behind Apple in tablet sales.

HP surprisingly emerges as No. 2 tablet maker

“At least for now, Hewlett-Packard can lay claim as the second most popular tablet manufacturer behind Apple.

Too bad, it’ll be a short-lived reign.

Despite all of the attention focused on Apple’s iPad, other tablet makers have seen some adoption this year. In total, the U.S. tablet market–excluding Apple–saw sales of more than 1.2 million units and retail revenue of $415 million from January through October, according to a new study from NPD. HP stood on top of that non-iPad hill, closely followed by Samsung Electronics.

Of course, the market is still tiny when compared with Apple, which moved 11.1 million iPads in the last quarter alone.

That a fluke like the short-lived TouchPad–which launched July 1 for $499 but only sold well amid a fire sale in mid-August–was able to capture the No. 2 spot speaks to the fragmentation of the tablet market beyond Apple.

Despite Apple’s dominance, NPD believes there is an opportunity for alternatives.

‘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,’ said NPD analyst Stephen Baker.

HP managed to grab 17 percent of the share. Its TouchPad was snapped up quickly this summer when HP discontinued the tablet. The TouchPad’s price cratered to $99, and retailers moved quickly to unload the tablets. Of course, the phenomenon was only temporary; HP has since run out of TouchPads and has no apparent plans to start up production again.

Samsung has been in the tablet business longer than anyone outside of Apple, moving quickly to release the 7-inch Galaxy Tab a year ago. Since then, the company has released a variety of tablet sizes, including a 10.1-inch version that is able to connect to a high-speed wireless network. As a result, it had 16 percent of the non-iPad market and is poised to overtake HP in the coming months for the No. 2 spot.”

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