According to the latest report from research firm IDC, Apple (AAPL)’s iPad shipments hit a record 22.9 million units in the 4th quarter of 2012 which was an increase of 48.1% over the same quarter last year. IDC attributes Apple’s lead in the market to the successful launch of the iPad mini, as well as the fourth-generation full-sized iPad. However, the strong competition in the market led to the iOS tablets loosing 6.8% of the market share from the previous quarter as Nr 2 vendor Samsung doubled its year ago numbers. The South Korean company experienced a 263 percent y/y growth, shipping nearly 8 million combined Android and Windows 8 tablets and claiming a 15.1% market share.
Amongst the other top 5 vendors, Amazon (AMZN) shipped more than 6 million units during Q4, increasing its market share to 11.5%, up from 8.3% the previous quarter, with a y/y growth of 26.8%. Barnes & Noble (BKS) shipped close to a million tablets, claiming a 1.9% market share from 0.7%, but its total dropped by 27.7% y/y. Microsoft (MSFT)’s new Surface with Windows RT tablet failed to reach the top five after shipping just shy of 900,000 units.
“We expected a very strong fourth quarter, and the market didn’t disappoint. 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,” said Tom Mainelli, tablet research director at IDC.
According to IDC’s report, the tablet market grew 75.3 percent on a year-over-year basis with a total of 52.5 million units shipped worldwide, and increased 74.3 percent from the previous quarter’s total of 30.1 million units.
The table of sales and market-share is right after the break.