As expected, worldwide tablet shipment growth slowed during the second quarter of 2013, as vendors await Apple's next move within the market.
According to preliminary data from IDC, shipments finally experienced a sequential decline as total volumes fell -9.7% from the first quarter.
That said, the 45.1 million units shipped in the second quarter was up 59.6% from the same quarter in 2012, when tablet vendors shipped 28.3 million devices.
Lacking a new product launch in March to help spur shipments, Apple's iPad saw a lower-than-predicted shipment total of 14.6 million units for the quarter, down from 19.5 million last quarter.
In years past, Apple has launched a new tablet heading into the second quarter, which resulted in strong quarter-over-quarter growth.
Now, the Cupertino firm is expected to launch new tablet products in the second half of the year, a move that better positions it to compete during the holiday season.
"A new iPad launch always piques consumer interest in the tablet category and traditionally that has helped both Apple and its competitors," says Tom Mainelli, Research Director, Tablets at IDC.
"With no new iPads, the market slowed for many vendors, and that's likely to continue into the third quarter.
"However, by the fourth quarter we expect new products from Apple, Amazon, and others to drive impressive growth in the market."
Meanwhile, the other two vendors in the top three also saw a decline in their unit shipments during the quarter.
Second-place Samsung shipped 8.1 million units, down from 8.6 million in the first quarter of 2013, although up significantly from the 2.1 million units shipped in 2Q12. And third-place ASUS shipped a total of 2.0 million units in 2Q13, down from 2.6 million in 1Q13.
Not all bad…
Not all vendors experienced a slowdown during the quarter however, with PC stalwarts Lenovo and Acer both re-entering the top five this quarter.
Lenovo continued to make headway into the world of mobility and for the first time had shipments surpass the million unit mark in a quarter, shipping a total of 1.5 million devices.
This was up 313.9% from a year ago and enough to capture 3.3% market share. Rounding out the top five was Acer, which shipped 1.4 million tablets during the quarter for 247.9% year-over-year growth and an increase of 35.4% over the first quarter of 2013.
"The tablet market is still evolving and vendors can rise and fall quickly as a result," says Ryan Reith, Program Manager, IDC's Mobility Tracker programs.
"Apple aside, the remaining vendors are still very much figuring out which platform strategy will be successful over the long run.
"To date, Android has been far more successful than the Windows 8 platform.
"However, Microsoft-fueled products are starting to make notable progress into the market."
Top five tablet vendors in 2013 (market share):
• Apple - 32.4%• Samsung - 18.0%• ASUS - 4.5%• Lenovo - 3.3%• Acer - 3.1%• Others - 38.8%
Top tablet operation systems in 2013 (market share):
• Android - 62.6%• iOS - 32.5%• Windows - 4.0%• Windows RT - 0.5%• BlackBerry OS - 0.3%• Others - 0.2%