The global tablet market continues to grow at incredible pace. According to IDC, 49 million tablets were shipped worldwide in the first quarter of 2013, more than twice as many as a year ago.
Apple shipped 19.5 million iPads between January and March and remains the world’s largest tablet vendor by a wide margin. But even though strong iPad mini demand led to better-than-expected sales for Apple in the first quarter, the competition is heating up for the long-time market leader. Apple’s market share dropped from almost 60 percent in last year’s first quarter to less than 40 percent in early 2013.
Apple’s drop in market share can mainly be attributed to the strong performance of Samsung. The Korean electronics giant, that now controls much of the smartphone market, is finally gaining a foothold in the tablet market as well. Samsung’s tablet shipments almost quadrupled compared to Q1 2012, as the company shipped 8.8 million units.
Microsoft was among the Top 5 vendors for the first time, as the company shipped 0.9 million Surface tablets in the first quarter. Considering the PR effort that went into Windows 8 and the fact that Microsoft went out on a limb to produce its own line of tablets, the Redmond-based company had probably hoped to make a little more of a splash in the tablet market.