Apple's iPad has lost ground in the tablet market, with Android devices gaining momentum during the third quarter, according to a report by IDC.
Q3 saw worldwide tablet shipments reach 28 million, up 50 per cent on the same period last year, but Apple's share has dropped from 60 per cent in 2011 to 50 per cent now.
The figures from IDC match research by Computing earlier this year, which found that out of 600 respondents to our mobile devices survey, those who own tablets are fairly evenly split when it comes to choice of operating system: 49 per cent used an iPad, while 44 per cent used Android operated devices such as Samsung and Amazon tablets.
The iPad still remains the most popular brand of tablet, with half the market, way ahead of Samsung devices such as the Galaxy Tab 2 and Galaxy Nexus, which hold an 18 per cent share, while Amazon devices are a distant third with nine per cent. However, despite the fragmented nature of Android devices across different vendors, Google's operating system has made significant gains on Apple.
"Samsung took advantage of an opportunity in the second quarter," said Ryan Reith, program manager at IDC's Mobile Device Trackers.
"The company offers a wide range of tablet offerings across multiple screen sizes and colours, and that clearly resonated with more buyers this quarter," he continued.
"Its growth to 18.4 per cent of worldwide market share during the quarter represents the first time a competitor has attained this level of share since the original launch of the iPad," Reith added.
Apple launched the iPad Mini last month, with the firm blaming rumours of its upcoming release for slower than expected iPad sales, something that makers of Android-run devices seemingly have taken advantage of in the latest quarter.
Microsoft recently launched its Windows 8-operated Surface into the tablet market, but lukewarm reviews suggest Apple and Google don't have anything to be concerned about yet. Indeed, just 10 per cent of those surveyed by Computing said they would consider switching to a Windows device.