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U.S. Tablet Sales (Excluding Apple) Exceed 1.2 Million Units in First 10 Months of 2011

That’s not too bad for tablet makers. 1.2 million sold in 10 months, and that’s not including the iPad.  The quote that I found the most interesting was: “76 percent of consumers who purchased a non-Apple tablet didn’t even consider the iPad,” I t seems the iPad popularity is waning….

U.S. tablet sales, excluding iPad sales, soared to more than 1.2 million units sold from January through October and brought in $415 million in revenue at retail, according to leading 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.

“If you look at the tablet market without Apple there are a number of high-profile brands vying for that number two 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.

“The market is filled with long-time PC and phone brands as well as low-cost entrants,” stated Baker. “With a limited amount of shelf space and challenges in overcoming the iPads first mover strength, not all brands will be successful.”

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.

“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,” said Baker. “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.”

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