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iPad sheds more market share but still dominates

Apple is still king of the tablet market with 32.5 percent share, but Samsung keeps grabbing a bigger slice, according to IDC.

Apple iPad Air
Apple's iPad Air. Josh Miller/CNET

Apple remains the top tablet vendor in the world, though recent iPad sales have shown some weakness.

Looking at the global tablet market last quarter, research firm IDC estimated Apple's share at 32.5 percent. That was enough to keep Apple in first place, but the number was a hefty drop from the 40.2 percent share seen in the first quarter of 2013. Over the same time, iPad sales dropped to 16.4 million from 19.5 million, IDC said Thursday.

Apple CEO Tim Cook attributed the iPad downturn to changes in channel inventory and said that the sales number met the company's own internal estimates.

"That doesn't mean that every quarter, every 90 days is going to be a number that everybody's thrilled with," Cook said as part of last week's March-quarter earnings announcement. "But what it means to me is that the trend over time, over the arc of time, that things look very, very good, that iPad has a great future, and of course the thing that drives us more than any of this are the next iPads, if you will, the things that are in the pipeline, the things that we can do to make the product even better, and there's no shortage of work going in on that, nor any shortage of ideas."

Yes, Apple certainly has more tricks up its sleeve. But in the meantime, vendors such as Samsung are pushing forward in the tablet market.

Samsung has been working more aggressively with carriers to offer tablets in package deals with smartphones, IDC noted. Samsung's tablet share last quarter was estimated at 22.3 percent, up from 17.5 percent in the same quarter last year. Over the same time, shipments rose to 11.2 million from 8.5 million.

Asus saw its cut of the market inch down slightly to 5 percent from 5.4 percent, while Amazon's share fell to 1.9 percent from 3.7 percent. Lenovo was the winner in the most improved category, showing a surge in tablet market share to 4.1 percent from 1.3 percent.

IDC's analysis includes both conventional tablets as well as two-in-one tablets, aka hybrids.