Tablets have become one of the hottest and most popular new technologies among consumers over the last few years, with signs that the market will continue to grow in 2012 and beyond. eMarketer estimates the total number of tablet users to reach 89.5 million by 2014. As the demand surges, more brands are looking to enter the market, offering more exciting new features and options for consumers than ever before.

Chitika Insights conducted an impression based research study that investigates the popularity of some of the key players in the market. We analyzed the level of internet activity seen (based on number of ad impressions) by Kindle Fire, Playbook, Motorola Xoom, Samsung Galaxy, and iPad between December 30th and January 9th, using a sample of hundreds of millions of impressions from the US and Canada.

Unquestionably, Apple’s iPad continues to dominate the market with more than 15% of the mobile traffic. On the other hand, a more competitive race is going on between other players in the market. Since the traffic volume is so low for the other players compared to the iPad, we have graphed them using an index of tablet impressions per 100 iPad imps. As you can see from the graph above, Kindle Fire has a strong hold on second place in the tablet market with an average of 2.4 impressions per 100 iPad imps, which could be attributed to strong holiday sales. This continues the trend we reported on right after the holiday when Kindle Fire web traffic jumped by 122%.

The Playbook follows Kindle Fire in third place with an average of 1.8 impressions per 100 iPads imps. Recently slashed prices might have helped drive web traffic as the tablet became more attractive at a lower price point. The Xoom and Galaxy, which have very similar functionality and price points, are neck and neck, scoring 1.55 and 1.6 in our index, respectively.

Despite the iPad’s stronghold in the tablet market, other tablets are continuing to carve out and hold their own places – a trend that is continuing even past the expected gains that the holiday season brought. It has taken some time for other players to elbow their way in to the market, but with these tablets paving the way and the demand for tablets continuing to grow, perhaps the coming year will bring more opportunities for other players to enter the field and bring their own innovations to the table. Whatever 2012 brings, Chitika Insights will be there to keep an eye on the developing market and report the latest trends and changes.

Sign up for free to test on Poll the People and help us create checkout pages that are easy to use and fast. With your help, we can make sure that everyone has a great experience when shopping online.