Apple iPad Tablet Rivals Picking Up Sales

By Nathan Eddy  |  Print this article Print

Total tablet industry sales, for both hardware and accessories, have brought in nearly $700 million so far this year.

Tablet sales in the United States, excluding units of Apple's market-leading iPad device, soared to more than 1.2 million units sold from January through October and brought in $415 million in revenue at retail, according to market research company The NPD Group’s monthly Connected Handhelds Report.

Total tablet industry sales, for both hardware and accessories, brought in nearly $700 million. Tablet hardware sales accelerated throughout the year, with each quarter performing better than the prior quarter.  Third-quarter sales were two times that of second-quarter sales, and second-quarter sales were three times better than first-quarter sales. Hewlett-Packard held a slight lead in market share with 17 percent, followed closely by Samsung at 16 percent. Asus, Motorola and Acer rounded out the top five with sales of 10 percent for Asus and 9 percent each for Motorola and Acer.

"If you look at the tablet market without Apple, there are a number of high-profile brands vying for that No. 2 spot," said Stephen Baker, vice president of industry analysis at NPD. "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."

PC manufacturers are dominant in the tablet space, as four of the top five tablet brands already have a strong U.S. consumer PC presence. Only two of the top five brands play in the smartphone market. But it’s not just the PC and smartphone manufacturers that stand to gain from the growing tablet market; accessory manufacturers do as well. One-third of total tablet market revenue through the third quarter was from accessories, and two-thirds of that was sales of cases and screen protectors.

"The market is filled with long-time PC and phone brands as well as low-cost entrants," said Baker. "With a limited amount of shelf space and challenges in overcoming the iPad's first mover strength, not all brands will be successful. Consumers are investing in expensive portable devices that they want to protect, so it’s not surprising that cases and screen protectors are driving in a significant amount of revenue. This is a great opportunity for the accessory manufacturers already in the market to ramp up products and designs and an opportunity for newcomers to get into a fast-growing segment."