A new report from market research firm Forrester credits Apple's iPad with kicking off what it calls "tablet mania."
Since Apple reported selling 3.27 million iPads in its fiscal third quarter, numerous iPad competitors have been announced. Not surprisingly, most contain the word "pad" in their name, as companies hope to cash in on Apple's success and associate their product with Apple's.
In its report released last week, Forrester cited the WebOS and Windows 7 tablets from HP, the Dell Streak, the Toshiba Smart Pad, rumored tablets from Acer and Samsung, and a Lenovo entry called LePad. One that Forrester didn't mention is the rumored BlackPad from Research In Motion.
In its research, Forrester notes the rapid consumer awareness of the iPad. The company said that in online surveys in May and June, awareness for the iPad has gone way up. In May, 83 percent of the more than 4,000 respondents said they've heard of the iPad. In June, that number jumped to 95 percent awareness.
As a point of comparison, in the same survey 25 percent of consumers said they have never heard of the Amazon Kindle. The Kindle has been on the market for three years.
"This iPad interest is fueled by the social influence of its buyers, who are 20 percent more likely to use Facebook, 40 percent more likely to use Twitter, and have more friends and followers than U.S. online consumers overall," wrote Sarah Rotman Epps, the author of the report.
Forrester said that 1.3 percent of people in its survey already owned an iPad and an additional 3.8 percent of people intend to buy one.
"The iPad has become a major consumer electronics product category--unto itself--within one single quarter," wrote Epps.