TouchPad Firesale Makes HP Top Tablet Maker After Apple

When HP first launched the TouchPad, no one wanted it. However, when it discontinued it and tried to offload its entire TouchPad inventory in a firesale for just $99 a pop, everyone on the planet wanted one.

HP may have lost a ton of money in the firesale, but here’s some good news. According to a report by NPD, HP’s TouchPad was the most popular tablet after the iPad in the U.S tablet market, for the first three quarters of 2011.

HP TouchPad

While Apple sold close to 11 million iPads in the last quarter alone, around 1.2 million tablets were sold by all the other manufacturers combined, from January to October 2011.

Of those 1.2 million, HP managed to grab 17% share with the TouchPad, while the most popular Android tablet manufacturer, Samsung, captured a 16% share. I’m really surprised to see HP beat Samsung, but then Samsung’s tablet offerings were priced much higher than the TouchPad.

HP’s TouchPad firesale validated the fact that despite the tremendous popularity of the iPad, there is still a market for budget tablets. Amazon has already launched the Kindle Fire to capture a majority market share in that space.

Asus, Motorola and Acer trailed Samsung in the list. Hopefully, the coming year will be better for Android tablet manufacturers, considering that Android Ice Cream Sandwich tablets should be coming out soon.

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