Apple may be losing its vicelike grip on the tablet market, as Android fondleslabs - particularly from Samsung - sneak up the charts.
Beancounters at IDC saw Apple's third quarter share of the tablet market slipped to 50.4 per cent from 65.5 per cent in the last quarter and 59.7 per cent in the same quarter last year, with most of the slack picked up by Samsung.
The Korean firm's Galaxy Tabs and Notes pushed its market share up to 18.4 per cent from 6.5 per cent last year with an impressive 325 per cent increase in shipments to 5.1m.
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Despite the market share decline, Apple was by no means doing badly, shipping 14m fondleslabs in the quarter. And IDC speculated that some of the fall in market share was down to folks holding out for the iPad mini.
"Now that the new mini, and a fourth-generation full-sized iPad, are both shipping we expect Apple to have a very good quarter," Tom Mainelli, tablet research director, said in a tinned statement.
"However, we believe the mini's relatively high $329 starting price leaves plenty of room for Android vendors to build upon the success they achieved in the third quarter."
Samsung was followed by Amazon in third position, sending out 2.5m of its Kindle tablets, while Asus sold 2.4m and Lenovo shifted 400,000, largely in China.
The entire market for tablets continues to grow, with total shipments in the third quarter at 27.8m, up nearly 50 per cent year-on-year. ®