Generally speaking, tablet
sales are booming and showing no signs of slowing down. Not tomorrow, not next week, and maybe not even in five years from now, no matter what the crystal ball says that BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins is peering into
. According to the latest figures provided by International Data Corporation
, worldwide tablet shipments grew an incredible 142.4 percent year-over-year.
Tablet shipments surpassed 49 million units in the first quarter of 2013, which is more than the entire first half of 2012. A primary driver of this growth is the demand for for smaller screen tablets, which in general tend to be less expensive than large-size slates.
Once again, Apple
led the way by shipping 19.5 million iPad devices in the first quarter. However, Apple's share of the tablet market dropped from 58.1 percent a year ago to 39.6 percent currently. Meanwhile, No. 2 Samsung increased its share from 11.3 percent a year ago to 17.9 percent today, though it shipped less than half the number of tablets that Apple did (8.8 million).
Source: IDC Worldwide Tablet Tracker, May 1, 2013
Nearly every major player is seeing a rapid rise in shipments, none more so than Asus, which shipped 350 percent more tablets in this most recent quarter than in the same one a year ago. That puts Asus in third place with a 5.5 percent share of the market.
Only Microsoft seems to be struggling to carve out a niche for itself. IDC figures Microsoft shipped 900,000 tablets in Q1, enough to scrape off a measly 1.8 percent share of the market.