HP's TouchPad shipments second to iPad

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HP's TouchPad shipments second to iPad

All for the cost of a $1.6 billion write-off.

HP's drastic price drops for the TouchPad helped make it the top selling non-Apple tablet in the United States this year, according to research group NPD.

The TouchPad held 17 percent share of 1.2 million non-Apple tablets sold between January and October 2011, according to research group NPD.

The top non-Apple spot in the US however came at a hefty price for HP, which revealed yesterday that it wrote off about $1.6 billion winding down the webOS hardware this August.

This included a $142 million hit from TouchPad discounts, $548 million in supplier-related obligations and $98 million in restructuring charges, according to a Seeking Alpha transcript.

HP paid US$1.2 billion for Palm in 2010.  

HP CEO Meg Whitman will outline the plan for webOS in early December, Bloomberg reported Monday

NPD's new ranking came as Research in Motion slashed its entry level 16 GB WiFi PlayBook, which started at a bold US$499, to $US199 -- roughly $US9 more than its materials cost.

The price cut comes weeks after Amazon launched its Kindle Fire for $US199. RIM's previous cut came one month ahead of the Fire's launch

The latest discount puts the 16GB device's sale price at just $US9 above its $US190 cost in materials, according to a teardown by UBM TechInsights

iSuppli this week estimated the Kindle Fire's component costs at $US201, but Amazon intentionally priced it that way to back content sales. 

Unlike HP's worldwide August fire-sale RIM's PlayBook deflation for North American consumers and business have not reached Australia. However, nor has Amazon's Kindle Fire.

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