The new research indicates that worldwide tablet shipments were up almost 60% year-over-year but Q2 results were nonetheless down nearly 10% relative to the first quarter. In a statement, IDC research director Tom Mainelli said the market slowed because, unlike in years past, Apple didn't release a new iPad model during Q2. IDC estimated that 45.1 million units were shipped during the quarter.
Mainelli predicted that by the end of the year, new products from Apple, Amazon, and others will drive impressive growth.
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As Mainelli's statements might imply, Apple remained the top tablet vendor, with 14.6 million units shipped in the quarter. Still, the report was a mixed bag for Apple: Though both new iPads and iOS 7 are expected to galvanize sales later this year, IDC noted that Apple's Q2 shipment tally was lower than anticipated and that Apple shipped almost 5 million more iPads in Q1.
Apple's iPads aggregately accounted for 32.4% of all shipments. The devices continue to be the most popular single product line, but their market share has been significantly affected because low-cost Android tablets have aggregately risen in popularity faster than the most recent iPads. IDC said that Apple's market share for the quarter was 32.4%, which is only a little more than half of the 60.3% it commanded in Q2 of last year.
Samsung was second, with 8.1 million shipments, down from 8.6 million in the first quarter. Despite the small decline, Samsung almost quadrupled its year-over-year output. It claimed 18% of all shipments, up from 7.6% a year ago.
In third place, Asus also suffered quarter-over-quarter drops. Still, it expanded its year-over-year market share from 3.3% to 4.5%.
Lenovo, which has risen meteorically to become the world's top PC maker, was in fourth place but made the best progress of any major vendor in Q2. The company shipped 1.5 million tablets, crossing the million-shipment threshold for the first time, and was up a massive 313.9% year-over-year.
Acer also posted encouraging gains. Its 1.4 million tablet shipments were up 35.4% relative to last quarter, and up 247.9% compared to the same period last year.