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Global tablet market up in Q2 says IDC

Strong sales from Apple helped grow tablet market 66.2% year-on-year

The release of Apple's new iPad in March helped grow the tablet market beyond expectations.
The release of Apple's new iPad in March helped grow the tablet market beyond expectations.

A record quarter for Apple's iPad pushed the global market for tablet devices to better than expected results, according to IDC.

In the analyst company's Worldwide Quarterly Media Tablet Tracker, the company said that shipments were up 33.6% from 18.7 million units in Q1, to 25 million units in Q2. The figures marked a 66.2% year-on-year increase.

Apple led the sector, shipping 17 million iPads in Q2, up from 11.8 million units in Q1. The company now holds 68.2% market share, up from 61.5% year-on-year.

Samsung also saw strong growth, with sales of 2.4 million units, up from 1.1 million units one year ago, representing 9.6% of the market. Amazon rebounded from a sluggish first quarter to post shipments of 1.2 million units, and ASUS also grew, shipping 855,000 units. only fifth-placed Acer saw its year-over-year numbers decline, as it shipped 385,458 units this quarter, down from 629,222 units a year ago.

"Apple built upon its strong March iPad launch and ended the quarter with its best-ever shipment total for the iPad, outrunning even the impressive shipment record it set in the fourth quarter of last year," said Tom Mainelli, research director, Mobile Connected Devices. "The vast majority of consumers continue to favor the iPad over competitors, and Apple is seeing increasingly strong interest in the device from vertical markets-especially education. While iPad shipment totals are beginning to slow a bit in mature markets where the device saw early traction, growth in other regions is clearly more than making up the difference."

IDC expects competition in the tablet space to continue to heat up in the second half of 2012. "In addition to major new products from Amazon and quite likely Apple, we can also expect an influx of Microsoft Windows 8 and Windows RT-based tablets starting in late October," said Bob O'Donnell, program vice president, Clients and Displays. "If anything, there's a real risk that people will have too many options from which to choose this holiday season. Consumers baffled by the differences between Amazon and Google versions of Android, or Windows 8 and Windows RT, may well default to market leader Apple. Or they may simply choose to remain on the sideline for another cycle."