Samsung doubles its share of the tablet market as Apple slides

Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0

Apple may still be king of the tablet market with the iPad, but Samsung is on the march, doubling its share in the final quarter of 2012.

According to the latest figures from research company IDC, Samsung sold 7.9 million Android and Windows 8 tablets, up from 2.2 million a year ago, taking its share of the market for the quarter to 15.1%.

That won't trouble Apple just yet, as the iPad maker still has 43.6% of the market – but that has dropped from 51.7%. It shipped 23 million iPads during the same period.

Global shipments of tablets grew 75% in the last three months of 2012 to reach a record 52.5 million units.

Earlier this week Apple unveiled a 128GB version of the iPad 4, due on sale in February.

According to the IDC report, Asus saw its share slip from 7.8% to 5.8% despite strong shipments of its Google-branded Nexus 7 tablet. Microsoft entered the market with its Surface RT tablet, but failed to reach the top five after shipping just under 900,000 units.

"There is no question that Microsoft is in the tablet race to compete for the long haul," says IDC's program manager Ryan Reith. "However, devices based on its new Windows 8 and Windows RT operating systems failed to gain much ground during their launch quarter, and reaction to the company's Surface RT tablet was muted at best."

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Andy Clough

Andy is Global Brand Director of What Hi-Fi? and has been a technology journalist for 30 years. During that time he has covered everything from VHS and Betamax, MiniDisc and DCC to CDi, Laserdisc and 3D TV, and any number of other formats that have come and gone. He loves nothing better than a good old format war. Andy edited several hi-fi and home cinema magazines before relaunching in 2008 and helping turn it into the global success it is today. When not listening to music or watching TV, he spends far too much of his time reading about cars he can't afford to buy.