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Worldwide tablet market grows 11%

Apple retains tablet crown while Samsung struggles to maintain momentum, IDC says

IDC said that it expects the market to experience positive growth in 2014 compared to last year.
IDC said that it expects the market to experience positive growth in 2014 compared to last year.

The worldwide tablet PC market grew by 11% year over year in the second quarter of 2014, according to the latest figures from IDC.

Shipments in the quarter reached 49.3m units, according to the research firm's preliminary findings. This meant a sequential decline from Q1 2014 of 1.5%, but IDC said that it still expects the market to experience positive - albeit slower - growth in 2014 compared to last year.

"As we indicated last quarter, the market is still being impacted by the rise of large-screen smartphones and longer than anticipated ownership cycles," said Jean Philippe Bouchard, IDC research director for tablets.

"We can also attribute the market deceleration to slow commercial adoption of tablets. Despite this trend, we believe that stronger commercial demand for tablets in the second half of 2014 will help the market grow and that we will see more enterprise-specific offerings, as illustrated by the Apple and IBM partnership, come to market."

Despite seeing declining shipments with its iPad product line, Apple still managed to maintain its lead in the worldwide tablet market, IDC said. The vendor shifted 13.3m units in the second quarter. Meanwhile, Samsung struggled to maintain the momentum gained during a strong first quarter, seeing its market share slip to 17.7% in the second, according to IDC.

Chinese vendor Lenovo continued to climb up the rankings, surpassing Asus and moving into the third sport in the tablet market by shipping 2.4m units and grabbing 4.9% market share, IDC said.

Asus and Acer finished off the top five, with 4.6% and 2.0% share, respectively, according to IDC.

That said, the research house noted that market share outside of the top five vendors reached an all-time high, as more and more vendors make inroads in the tablet space. By now, most traditional PC and phone vendors have at least one tablet model in the market, IDC said.

"Until recently, Apple, and to a lesser extent Samsung, have been sitting at the top of the market, minimally impacted by the progress from competitors," said Jitesh Ubrani, research analyst at IDC.

"Now we are seeing growth amongst the smaller vendors and a levelling of shares across more vendors as the market enters a new phase."