Apple’s iPad led the charge as total worldwide tablet shipments hit a record 52.5 million units in the fourth quarter of 2012, according to IDC’s preliminary data from its Worldwide Quarterly Tablet Tracker, but its market share continued to slide due to competition from Samsung. Meanwhile, PC shipments declined during the quarter for the first time in more than five years. The tablet market grew 75.3 percent year-over-year, and increased 74.3 percent from the previous quarter’s total of 30.1 million units, helped along by holiday purchases, lower average selling prices and a wider range of products.
“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.