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IDC: Apple extends lead in tablet market

In a bit of news that should surprise almost nobody, IDC & Macworld reported on Thursday that Apple has increased its market share of units shipped in the tablet market to almost 70 percent worldwide.

By the numbers, Apple shipped a total of 17 million iPads in the April to June quarter of 2012, boosting its market share from 61.5 percent for the same quarter of 2011 to 68.2 percent this year. In that quarter of 2011, Apple shipped 9.24 million iPads, so a year over year comparison shows a growth of 84.3 percent.

According to IDC, the majority of consumers favor the iPad over competing tablets, and Apple also gets the nod in vertical markets like education. Shipments of iPads do appear to be slowing in mature markets, but sales growth for the iPad in other regions is robust.

In the number two spot of the tablet market for the quarter was Samsung, with 2.4 million units shipped and an almost 10 percent market share. Amazon's Kindle Fire has surged from a slow first quarter of 2012 to ship 1.25 million units for a 5 percent share of the market.

Asus and Acer came in at fourth and fifth place, with Asus seeing a year-over-year increase in shipments of 115.5 percent (885,000 tablets shipped). Acer, on the other hand, had a drop of about 40 percent in sales from the same quarter in 2011, shipping only 385,000 tablets.

While Apple's currently at the top of the heap, analysts expect more competition in the tablet space beginning in the second half of 2012, with new Kindle Fire models from Amazon and a number of new devices running Windows 8 and Windows RT.

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