Worldwide tablet sales have greatly outpaced industry predictions as a record total 52.5 million devices were shipped in the fourth quarter of 2012.
Preliminary data released by the International Data Corporation revealed that the tablet market grew by 75.3 per cent over the same period in 2011.
Perhaps even more impressive is the market’s significant growth over the previous quarter, with Q4 2012 recording a 74.3 per cent increase over the year’s Q3.
However, the jump in Q4 sales was widely expected given the demand for tablet devices across the seasonal Christmas period.
Tom Mainelli, research director of tablets at IDC, highlighted the device’s strong sales, whilst linking them to the steep decline in PC shipments.
"New product launches from the category’s top vendors, as well as new entrant Microsoft, led to a surge in consumer interest and very robust shipments totals during the holiday season. The record-breaking quarter stands in stark contrast to the PC market, which saw shipments decline during the quarter for the first time in more than five years," said Mainelli.
Apple continues to reign supreme in the tablet arena and the firm’s numbers eclipse even its closest rivals.
The firm recorded a market share of 43.6 per cent, whilst shipping 22.9 million tablet devices in Q4 2012 alone.
The numbers leave a significant margin between the market’s top spots, with Samsung falling into second place with just a 15.1 per cent share of the market, unloading 7.9 million devices across the seasonal period.
However, whilst Apple continues it dominance of the market, the results didn’t come without signs of concern for the firm, which saw its market share in 2012 slip from the 51.7 per cent it recorded in 2011.
Meanwhile, Samsung managed to doublet its market share in 2012 from the 7.3 per cent it achieved in 2011, whilst most impressively, managing year on year growth of 263 per cent.
Whilst Apple continues to sit pretty as king of the tablets, if Samsung continues its rate of growth, there could soon be a much close fought battle for the market’s top spot.
Want to receive up-to-the-minute tech news straight to your inbox? Then click here to sign up for the completely free PCR Daily Digest and Newsflash email services. You can also follow PCR on Twitter and Facebook.