HP $99 TouchPad edges out Android in non-iPad tablet sales

HP's TouchPad fire-sale scored the company the second place in US tablet sales, market stats have shown, with the $99 webOS slate edging ahead of Samsung's entire Galaxy Tab line-up. The Korean firm slipped to third place – behind Apple, in first, and HP, in second – with 16-percent of retail tablet sales between January and October 2011, the NPD Group found, while HP managed 17-percent thanks no doubt to its aggressive discounting. Total non-Apple tablet sales amounted to more than 1.2m units the analysts suggest.

It's worth remembering, before you compare non-Apple tablet sales with those of the iPad, that both the TouchPad and Samsung slates like the Galaxy Tab 10.1 weren't on sale for the entire year. Still, of those NPD asked, 76-percent of those who bought a non-iPad tablet didn't even consider opting for Apple's slate. That, NPD analyst Stephen Baker reckons, is "indication that a large group of consumers are looking for alternatives, and an opportunity for the rest of the market to grow their business."

In fourth place, ASUS' Eee Pad Transformer helped the company take 10-percent of the non-Apple tablet market, while Motorola trailed behind with 9-percent. Acer also managed 9-percent, though its line-up included not only Android tablets but models running Windows 7 as well.

Interestingly, a third of tablet market revenue in the year was from accessory sales, NPD counts, suggesting that it's not just iPad buyers who are keen on picking up peripherals and gadgets to accompany their slate. Cases and screen protectors make up the majority of those sales, at around two thirds of all accessory sales.